September 02, 2001 11:00 pm

By The Observer

PORTLAND The Eastern Oregon Mountaineers won a pair of volleyball matches Saturday to given them a split on their opening weekend road trip.

Eastern defeated Pacific 30-24, 30-17, 26-30, 30-19 in Forest Grove, then swept Lewis & Clark, 30-19, 30-28, 30-23 in Portland.

Eastern had lost to Willamette and George Fox on Friday, but coach Sharon Campbell said part of that was a matter of the players getting used to each other on the court.

Its a matter of understanding this rally scoring and that every point is in play, Campbell said.

This year in collegiate volleyball, every serve counts as a point to the winning team, rather than just for the serving team.

Where hitter Elaine McKinstry led the team in attacks and kills Friday, Sara Kirby did so Saturday, Campbell said. Kirby had 18 kills against Pacific and 11 more against Lewis & Clark.

Easterns other top player Saturday was middle blocker Erin Phelps. Shes doing a phenomenal job. She had some great net play, Campbell said.

Eastern (2-2) also improved its ball control over Friday. In the second game against Pacific, the Mountaineers had just four errors compared to Pacifics 11.

The weekends matches were the extent of Easterns preseason. Cascade Collegiate Conference play starts Friday and Saturday in Quinn Coliseum with matches against Southern Oregon and Oregon Tech.