Montana and Rice, Duncan and Robinson, Jordan and Pippen are just some of the greatest duos in this generation of sports. The Weber State University volleyball team ran into a similar double-headed monster Thursday night when it traveled to Eastern Washington University in an attempt to get its second conference win of the season.
The Wildcats had a hard time containing the duo of Kelsey Julian and Allie Schumacher, who combined for an outstanding 23 kills. They led the Eagles to a sweep of the Wildcats in sets of 25-17, 25-15 and 25-14.
EWU ran away with the first set by winning seven of the first 10 points. Schumacher contributed two kills early on as the Wildcats struggled with ball control. That was the same tone for the rest of the sets, as EWU took control early on in every set. Sophomore Mariah Kahawaii led the Wildcats for most of the match, contributing four kills in the first two sets.
The road has been a place where the Wildcats have struggled, as they only have two wins away from home this season. They know it is one thing that must change if they are going to continue to grow and win games. Ball control and errors led the way for EWU to take control early in the first three sets.
“Every once in a while you have that game, but you don’t want to yell and scream afterwards,” said WSU head coach Tom Peterson. “You have to get that out of your mind. You have to move on as soon as possible. We have had a few injuries, which is unfortunate, which led to some lineup changes. Our ball control controlled the match, then we started to make mistakes, then it just went down from there.”
On a night when the Wildcats struggled with their attack, junior Audrey Biggs continued swinging away, accounting for six kills. She received support from a pair of sophomores, Audrey Hunter and Kahawaii, with four kills.
Senior libero McKay Tarbox stretched out early and often in the match; she had 11 digs, while sophomore Whitney Hunt added three digs, 16 kills and the team’s only block.
Even though the team had an off night, Tarbox, one of the team’s captains, said this loss is just another stage in the growing process. The longer the players ponder the loss, the more it is going to affect them in the coming matches.
“We had a tough time during that game,” Tarbox said. “As a captain, I need to help keep the team upbeat and try to always stay positive. One thing that I thought we learned is that we must play to our strengths and avoid falling into our weaknesses, stick to the things we do well and follow the game plan.”
The loss dropped the Wildcats’ record to 5-18 overall and 1-8 in Big Sky Conference play, while EWU improved to 7-13, 4-5 in conference play.
The Wildcats will return home for the start of the second half of conference play when they host Southern Utah University on Thursday. The match will start at 7 p.m. in the Swenson Gym.