Lady Eagles have mixed results in tournaments: Team struggles at Southern Idaho
|Karina Rocha, a new CEU freshman from Brazil knocks one over the net during a game earlier this season.|
In a tournament over shadowed by the sudden firing of Southern Idaho Coach Ben Stroud on Thursday, CEU just could not quite find the chemistry it needed to be successful.
CSI was picked to be the conference favorite again, but the team has again been cited for unnamed recruiting violation and will be ineligible for post season play. This is the second time in four years. In 2004 they were also sanctioned for violations and deemed ineligible for post season play. They were the national champions in 2005 and pegged to repeat this season.
All that drama didn't help CEU. On Friday they took on Casper Community College. Ahead 28-26 in game one, they let the game slip away. Despite Karina Rocha's 10 kills, they dropped the second game as well, 28-30.
Against a powerful Northern Idaho College, the team showed some of their best play of the season. Nationally ranked in the top 10, NIC has traditionally blown out CEU. Even though the Eagles lost in two straight, they stayed close and played with heart. Final of the match was NIC 23-30 and 28-30. Maren Erickson led CEU with eight kills in the match.
With the team feeling the loss from Friday, it did not seem to wake up to play Snow on Saturday morning. Down 15-30 for both games, CEU lost to a surprisingly strong team from Snow.
Coming back stronger in its second match of the day, CEU stayed in their games against SLCC throughout the match. They just could not finish off either game and went down to defeat 27-30 in two games. Coach Brent Martindale was pleased with the way they played against a team that has beat CEU consistently.
That good play carried over to the next match and CEU beat a good Eastern Arizona team. EAC was nationally ranked last year. Erickson had eight kills in the match followed by Rocha with seven. Freshman Olivia Fowler had four kills and three blocks as CEU took the match 30-25 and 30-23.
Unfortunately, after four matches in a row without a break, the Eagles were tired and it showed in their play. Losing to Western Wyoming 21-30 and 22-30 the team ended the day on a down note. Sophomore Ashlie Baker had five kills and three blocks for the Eagles.
The team will participate in the SLCC tournament Sept. 1 and 2 and then will travel to Las Vegas for another tournament Sept. 8 and 9. The first home match will be against Snow College on Thursday Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. at the BDAC.