This archived article was written by: Chase Adams
With a tough start in conference play, the College of Eastern Utah’s volleyball team dropped to 0-4 in the past two weeks.
The Eagles are playing competitive volleyball but falling short by small margins. They show great teamwork, unity and effort to acquire wins but are coming up empty handed short of their goals. Crucial errors cost them a set or a point and that’s what the team is recognizing and making changes to recover from a 0-4 start.
On Sept. 24, they traveled to Salt Lake Community College and lost 3 to 1. In the first match, the women lost 22-25 staying close to the no. 1 team in the conference. The second game they lost 25-3 in a game which the team wished they could take back but learned from their mistakes and in game three won 28-26, showing fire and passion. The Eagles went into game four with new hope but fell short 26-24.
Stats for the game included 32 kills, 11 by Miranda Parkinson; 30 assists, 28 by Julia Potts; five blocks, and 35 digs, eight by Potts and seven by Abigale Ericson.
The next day The Eagles traveled to Ephraim to play the Snow College Badgers. “The ladies seemed worn out and physically and emotionally drained.”Says new coach Grant Barraclough, as they fell 3-1. In their first game they lost 25-16, game two they won 25-20 then dropped the last two 25-18 and 25-11. After another tough loss, they had 46 digs and 30 kills; however they were able to learn from the Badgers and prepared for their home opener.
With a week to practice and prepare for one of the strongest teams in the conference, they worked on defense and how to come together when the games were on the line. On Oct. 1, North Idaho College visited.
With new confidence on the Eagles’ side, they took this match to five games, losing in the first two sets 25-17 and 25-20 but the next two the Eagles had something to prove and beat the no. 10 nationally ranked team, 25-23 in game three and 32-30 in game four. The tie through the teams into the fifth set. It only took a few minutes and Eastern Utah lost 15-8.
The ladies showed great defense with 81 digs and five players in double digits. Miranda Parkinson and Sabrina Simas had 12, Julia Potts and Barbara Jardin 15 and the team high was 16 by Abigale Ericson.
The team had three players in double digits for kills Sabrina Simas added 12, Barbara Jardin 18 and Miranda Parkinson 17. Coach Grant Barraclough said, “The team showed strength and power with a lot of players and moved the ball around with strength and agility. Coming out against a strong a great team, the Eagles showed confidence and have good reason to keep their heads held high. They played and showed that they could contend and bring something new to the table.”
On Oct. 2, College of Southern Idaho came to Price to pay a visit to the lady Eagles. The Idaho Eagles had no problem with this worn out and battered team, beating them in three quick matches 25-18, 25-16, and 25-14. The ladies had 38 digs and 30 kills with Miranda Parkinson leading the team with eight.
Coach B. said, “There is only one thing that a team can do after suffering games like these last four: keep their heads up and focus on the schedule that is ahead and perform their duties as a whole.” Tough losses came at the start of conference play, but we hope the ladies can pull out of their funk, rise above their challenges and pull together.
There is a lot to be said about the women of Eastern Utah during these last four games. None were easy games and they played respectful and with a lot of heart. They played the two-top-ranked teams in the SWAC conference, losing games by two and three, tell a lot about a team. When they played Salt Lake Community College, the Eagles only had one bad game where they lost horribly and picked up their slack and got the next win. While playing the no. 10th-ranked North Idaho College, they took the Cardinals to five sets and in one of those games, fought for 32 points with a win.
In the next two weeks, the Eagles play four games, one on the road against the cellar dwellers in Rangely, Colo., Colorado Northwestern College; then two home games, the first on Oct. 15 when Snow College visits and the next day SLCC visits. Then on Oct. 21, they play a rematch in Twin Falls Idaho, against CSI.
Overall the Eagles are 5-11, 0-4 in conference and 1-3 at home. They have 614 kills, 546 assists and 752 digs. The next few weeks are crucial as the Eagles look for revenge from the teams who already beat them.