|The College of Eastern Utah volleyball team rallies around one another as they finish out their season during tournament play last weekend.|
Playing some of the strongest volleyball of the season wasn't enough to get the job done against NIC at the SWAC tournament this weekend. The Eagles ended their season with a loss after winning game one in the match. Final scores of the match were NIC over CEU 27-30, 30-13, 30-17, and 13-30.
The Eagles shocked NIC as they played game one with the power and consistency that Coach Martindale knew they were capable of all year. The team had 12 kills in that game.
NIC was not about to be taken down by the upstart Eagles and ratcheted up their play to overpower the Eagles in game two. It seemed to take the momentum out of the Eagles and they were unable to generate the offense needed to come back and control the tempo. NIC easily rolled over CEU to finish them off in the final games.
Amber Kohler led the CEU offense with 8 kills. Marissa Crookston and Karissa Law added 7 each in the attack. Olivia Fowler, Law, and Kohler combined for 66 team attacks. The offense was orchestrated by the play of Kindra Romney who dished out 20 set assists. Romney also led the team with two service aces. Law added 13 defensive digs for the defense. Emily Doxey helped out with 11 digs as well. CEU came out strong and won the game to make things interesting, but could not sustain momentum and lost the next 3 rather badly. CEU could not stop the play of Cardinal Whitney Tucker, who had 16 kills against the Eagles. NIC had 3 players in double digit kills.
|Amber Kohler digs one out as Sophomore Emily Doxey looks on. CEU closed out its season with a loss in the SWAC tournement.|
"I was obviously pleased with winning game one, and thought we had a good game plan. But when NIC turned it up a notch and made adjustments, we couldn't maintain our level of play, and that was disappointing." Martindale commented. "Our freshmen played very well, and really carried us. Marissa and Amber have been coming on real well these last few weeks."
"Our sophomores have been strong all season, and we will miss having these players on the floor." he added as he summed up the season. "I wish we could have sustained the momentum a bit. But they (NIC) adjusted and we wilted. It was like that most of the season. But looking ahead, our freshmen really advanced in their play as the season went on. I am looking forward to building on that next season."
NIC went on to play CSI for the right to move on to the National tournament. CSI came out on top of that match up and will represent District O in the NJCAA tournament. SLCC played Arizona Western this weekend and also moved on to represent District A in the NJCAA tournament. Because the SWAC Conference consistently has two to three of the top teams in the nation in it, it is the only NJCAA conference that has two teams going to the national tournament. That is why the conference splits and plays their play-offs the way they do.
This year is no exception with Southern Idaho and Salt Lake Community College representing Region 18 and the SWAC in the national tournament. As the CEU girls clear out their lockers and return to the business of attending classes, they wish their fellow conference players a good run at the national title.