Eastern volleyball sits in 2nd place in OVC

Sean Hastings, Assistant Sports Editor

The Eastern volleyball team lost its first match of Ohio Valley Conference play Friday 3-1 to Belmont University.

Leading up to the match the Panthers had only lost one out of nine sets played contributing to that 3-0 record.

The Panthers dominated Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State to open up the season, and beat Southern Illinois-Edwardsville 3-1 in four close sets.

But Belmont put the Eastern dominance to a stop as the Panthers got away from playing their style of volleyball according to coach Sam Wolinski.

Wolinski pointed out that the team’s 14 reception errors played a huge role in the loss and allowed Belmont to get a lot of points off serves. Belmont only had three in the match.

Eastern combined for 13 reception errors through the first three matches including only two errors in the match against Tennessee Tech.

One positive thing to take away from the weekend is that the Panthers were still able to get a lot of girls involved in getting kills. Eight different players got at least one kill, but the number of kills were less than the previous three matches.

Eastern averaged close to 51 kills a match in the previous three contests.

Sophomore Allie Hueston was once again a kill leader for the Panthers with 11 with sophomore Maria Brown and senior Kayla Nesbitt right behind her with seven against Belmont.

Even though the Panthers lost, it was only their first of the season and is no reason to panic.

The team will have close to a week to prepare for their next match, which will be against Murray State. Murray State is atop the conference with a 3-0 record, with Eastern right behind with Belmont at 3-1.

Eastern has played one more match than Murray State so depending on what Murray State does on Wednesday with Austin Peay, Eastern could be tied with them at the top of the conference.

Regardless of that outcome, it is setting up for a big match on Friday with the top teams going at each other even though it is so early in the season.

The last time the Panthers lost was when they lost seven in a row to end their non-conference play schedule and they came out and won three straight.

So if you’re looking for positive thoughts going into Friday, think about how Eastern came out and dominated three matches in a row after suffering a loss.

The Panthers Murray State in Murray, Ky. this week .


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