September 11, 2013, Cheney, WA – The Eastern Washington women’s volleyball team will face its toughest test yet this season, facing a daunting set of matches in its final weekend of nonconference play.
The Eagles will hit the road for the final time in their non-league season, taking on a quartet of California schools, beginning with a match at San Jose State on Wednesday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. EWU will then spend its weekend in San Diego, Calif., playing three matches as part of the USD Tournament, taking on UC Santa Barbara, host and No. 9 San Diego and top-ranked USC. Eastern opens with UCSB on Friday, Sept. 13, at 5 p.m. before playing the Toreros on Saturday at 10 a.m. and the Trojans later that day at 5 p.m.
The Eagles (3-4) are no stranger to high-level competition, having played against PAC-12 member Washington State and Big XII member Texas Tech last weekend at the Cougar Challenge in Pullman, Wash. EWU took down the Red Raiders in four sets, marking just the second time in school history that Eastern has defeated a team from the Big XII. The Eagles fell to the host Cougars in three sets in their opening match of the weekend before dropping a five-set thriller to South Dakota later that day.
Sophomore Allie Schumacher had a tremendous week for Eastern, earning Big Sky Player of the Week honors for the second time in her young career. She recorded double-figure kills in three of EWU’s four matches last week, highlighted by a 19-kill, 12 dig performance versus South Dakota last Friday, Sept. 6. She opened the week with 10 kills on 18 swings in the Eagles’ sweep of Seattle, then tallied six kills and three digs versus Washington State. The Puyallup native followed up her strong performance against South Dakota by leading EWU with 16 kills in its win over Texas Tech. She added eight digs and three block assists versus the Red Raiders.
While Schumacher grabbed the weekly headlines, a number of other Eagles had impressive showings at the Cougar Challenge last weekend. Senior Lindsay Niemeierearned all-tournament honors after leading the team with 83 assists while adding 23 digs in Eastern’s three matches. She set a season high with 35 assists versus South Dakota before notching her first double-double of the year with 34 assists and 10 digs in EWU’s win over Texas Tech. Junior Melissa Waelter also had a double-double against the Red Raiders, tallying 14 kills and 15 digs while adding three service aces. Freshman Kylie Curtis enjoyed a coming-out party of sorts at the Cougar Challenge, setting season highs in four different categories last weekend. She recorded eight kills on 17 swings versus South Dakota before exploding for 11 kills, six digs and six block assists against Texas Tech. She hit a stellar .440 (11-0-25) versus the Red Raiders, committing no errors in 25 attempts.