CEU struggles through conference play

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Posted Tuesday, November 4, 2008 - 2:25pm

With arguably the toughest conference in the nation, the College of Eastern Utah had to continue through the tough times and hope for better ones in the second half of the year.

After getting that always tough first win out of the way, the CEU women's volleyball team had to get ready to face the tough Salt Lake Community College Bruins next. The Bruins beat up on the Eagles in their last meeting in the BDAC. The tough teams didn't stop there when they had to play all the teams over again to start off the second half of the grueling regular season

CEU dug themselves a hole in the first game by giving SLCC five points due to errors. After that little stretch, CEU was down 11-8 but served a ball out and SLCC went on a three to zero run, never looked back, winning 25-18. Game two was about the same with SLCC showing why they are nationally ranked and winning easily 25-19.

In game three, CEU played within themselves and kept the game at their own tempo, serving game point at 25-24. That serve was the turning point in the match when a controversial call was made because the ball looked as though it touched a SLCC player. The line judge thought otherwise and gave the ball to SLCC, handing them the game point and momentum. SLCC's ensuing serve was too hot to handle which led to a SLCC victory.

Head Coach Brent Martindale said, "The last referee call was very disappointing, and even though it may have been a cause of how we lost game three, it was not why we lost the match. We made way too many errors, and you can't make that many errors against the number five ranked team in the nation. But it really did play a factor in game three, and we had really worked hard to get back in the match. Who knows? We win game three, then anything can happen."

Martindale added, "I was obviously disappointed in the way we played tonight. We had a great crowd and a chance to show that we have improved. There were times we played well, but we did not execute the way we prepared. They are a good team, but we are too."

After losing a heartbreaker to SLCC, CEU played rival Snow College Badgers. They came out playing hard and never really let EU get into the game.

CEU did not play to their potential and lost the first game 25-19. In the second game EU got a win and evened the match at one winning 20-25.

The third game, Snow showed they wanted it more winning 25-20 putting them up one game. In the fourth and last game of the night, the Badgers put it to EU and won 25-12.

Martindale said, "Well, what can I say? We got humbled today. We really thought we were an equal team or better, and we were not able to prove it. They outplayed us on almost all levels." He added, "We just seem to be limping through right now. We just didn't have the fight that I really thought we had."

Continuing the tough schedule the Eagles always seem to have, they hosted the number-12 team in the land, College of Southern Idaho. CSI had beaten up on EU the previous meeting and the Eagles wanted to show that they can play with the big dogs.

In the first game, CEU hung with the visiting Golden Eagles but could not pull it out, losing 25-22. In the second game CSI continued their dominance, winning 25-16. The third game was much like the first with CEU hanging in there, just not pulling it out again and losing another close one 25-21.

The CEU scoring was led by freshmen Alexis Adams with 10 kills and eight digs and Megan Garvin with seven kills and one ace. Setter Alexandra Schuda had 12 assists, two kills and two aces.

Coach Martindale said, "We played them close, which I was happy with. But we are still aching for a win. We are certainly improving, however, and one of these days we will put together a complete match and figure out a way to win."

Hoping the games would get better after playing CSI, CEU then had to handle the number-11 ranked team in North Idaho College at home.

CEU handled NIC much better than CSI the previous week with a lot of help from Law and Adams, who each had 15 kills to lead the team.

"Law and Adams had monster games. But there were just a few too many errors at the end of each game for us to stay in it," Martindale said.

In the first game, CEU played well and stayed within striking distance but could not close the gap losing 25-19. The second game was better with CEU showing they can play, handing the Cardinals a 25-15 loss which and evened the series at one game a piece. In the second, CEU again stayed close but NIC just made more plays down the stretch to get the win and be back on top- two games to one. The third match the Eagles did not capitalize on NIC's mistakes which led to a Cardinal 25-17 win.

"We played well enough to have some chances to win the match, but just a few too many errors down the stretch." He added, "These were too pretty good matches against two teams in the top 12 in the nation. We should be happy to play them close, but I know the girls are still disappointed. They want a win bad," said Coach.

After one of the toughest stretches of games the nation would have to offer, CEU finally got a break in a match against Colorado Northwester Community College. CEU beat up on CNCC the last meeting at the BDAC and wanted similar results in this match.

In the first game CEU handled CNCC well and got a 25-20 victory. In the second game it was much better with them winning 25-17. And again in the third the margin of victory was bigger, winning 25-12.

Law led the charge for the Eagles with eight kills, Garvin was right behind her with seven kills two aces and two blocks. Adams had seven kills and Graham was right behind her with six.

CEU's serving was a huge contributor to the win with 15 aces. Coach said, "At times it was not pretty, but we did what it took to get the win. We actually played well against a team that was not about to fold and really overwhelmed them in the third game."

CEU hits the road for a couple matches including rival Snow College in Ephram and then a date with conference leader SLCC. The conference tourney will then be held at SLCC on November

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