November 07, 2001 11:00 pm

For the first time since 1994, the Eastern Oregon University volleyball team is in the post-season.

The Mountaineers open the Cascade Collegiate Conference tournament at 11 a.m. Friday against Albertson. The tournament is at Concordia University in Portland.

Eastern, the sixth seed to Albertsons third seed, has lost twice to the Coyotes this season. The Mountaineers are 9-15 while Albertson is 16-10.

The winner of the match will play Southern Oregon (16-7) at 4 p.m.

In the other first-round game, Western Baptist (15-10) plays Oregon Tech (13-9) at 1 p.m., with the winner playing league champion Concordia (21-3) at 7 p.m.

The third-place match is at 4 p.m. Saturday, with the championship at 7 p.m.

Eastern lost a three-game match to Albertson on Sept. 25 in La Grande, then played Albertson to four games at Albertsons Blocktoberfest on Oct. 4.

Earlier this week, four Albertson players and one Mountaineer were named to the all-conference first team. Eastern senior Elaine McKinstry was joined on the first team by Albertson seniors Carly Merkel, Kristen Price and Amber Igoe and junior Katy Tipton.

McKinstry led the Mountaineers with a 26 percent attack percentage this season. She had 245 kills and 67 blocks, both second on the team.