EASTERN VOLLEYBALL EVENS RECORD

September 23, 2001 11:00 pm
HAVING SOME FUN: Freshman Tara Dalys (left) dance moves make sophomore Katie Branch laugh during Eastern Oregons 3-1 victory Saturday afternoon over Evergreen State. (The Observer/PAT PERKINS).
HAVING SOME FUN: Freshman Tara Dalys (left) dance moves make sophomore Katie Branch laugh during Eastern Oregons 3-1 victory Saturday afternoon over Evergreen State. (The Observer/PAT PERKINS).

By Pat Perkins

Observer Staff Writer

A critical early season homestand is going well so far for the Eastern Oregon Mountaineer volleyball team.

Eastern knocked off Evergreen State 24-30, 30-24, 30-23, 30-15 Saturday afternoon to improve to 5-5 overall, its best start since 1992.

Our focus is 4-0, Eastern Oregon coach Sharon Campbell said about the four matches that started with Fridays win over Northwest. Were stepping our level of play up.

Eastern plays Albertson at Quinn Coliseum on Tuesday, then visits Warner Pacific in Portland on Friday. Both Cascade Collegiate Conference matches are winnable for a team that is now 3-3 in the league.

Eastern played a more controlled match than the Geoducks (3-5 overall, 1-3 conference), who committed 45 hitting errors. Eastern led 14-9 in the fourth game when Evergreen State made six straight errors that pushed Easterns lead to 20-9. A kill by Easterns Sara Kirby punctuated the streak, and the Mountaineers never looked back.

Eastern started out flat and it showed in the first-game loss. Campbell said her players may have taken the match for granted because Evergreen State had not won a conference match going into the weekend.

Evergreen State led 18-16 when Eastern scored scored six straight points behind Emily Lees serving. In the third game, kills by Elaine McKinstry, Stephanie Stafford and Mariah Dodrill put Eastern over the top.

The Mountaineers got another strong hitting effort from McKinstry, who had 12 kills and just four hitting errors. Dodrill and Stafford each had four serving aces, and Bina Hall had three solo blocks.

Tuesdays match against Albertson starts at 7 p.m.