Eastern volleyball team wins 3rd straight game

Sean Hastings, Assistant Sports Editor

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The Eastern volleyball team continued its success Wednesday to improve to 3-0 when they defeated the Southern Illinois-Edwardsville Cougars 3-1.

The Panthers started the season 2-0 after defeating Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State and coach Sam Wolinski called this game against SIUE ‘a gut check.’

“I think it was a total gut-check win,” Wolinski said. “We made a couple adjustments on the court after set two and got better and played with confidence.”

Eastern lost the second set by a score of 25-22 but came back to win the next two 25-20 and 25-22. The Panthers won the first set 25-20.

One thing that the Panthers have and really helps them on the court is getting everyone involved.

It was no surprise for the Panthers to have eight girls get kills in the match. Eastern had eight players combine for 57 kills in the match sophomore Maria Brown led the Panthers with 11 kills.

Senior captain Stephanie Wallace said having the middles involved is huge to the success and the team did a great job getting the hitters only one blocker which is important for the offense to score.

Brown also led in digs with 20 and everyone on the roster earned at least one dig in the match.

Having versatility on the court is something the Panthers strive for every night.

“People have been getting their jobs done and it’s our philosophy to train that way as well and it’s paying off,” Wolinski said.

Sophomore Allie Hueston has been strong all year and was no different Wednesday night earning nine kills and four digs.

Although the Panthers got the win, Wallace knows the team can be even better.

“We came out a little flat to begin the match, but improved as it went on,” Wallace said. “I don’t think we fully reached our style of play until midway through the fourth set. Defense struggled at times and offense struggled at times, but we were able to pull out the win, and that’s all that matters.”

Eastern is now 3-0 to start Ohio Valley Conference play and will continue their season on Friday at Belmont.

 

Sean Hastings can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]