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Lady Eagles swing from top tournament finish to home loss

Sun Advocate reporter

Amy Warburton digs a ball for College of Eastern Utah while teammates Brittany Bentley, Megan Hunsaker and Cassidy Dawes prepare to attack. CEU took third place in a Santa Ana tournament last weekend and will travel to Westminster on Sept. 22. The team will then host SLCC on Sept. 24.

The College of Eastern Utah Lady Eagles are currently 9-12 in season play. All but three of those games have taken place in a series tournaments.

In the most recent tournament in Santa Ana, Calif., CEU placed third. The team's only loss came against the eventual tournament and defending California state champions Coast College.

The Lady Eagles lost to Coast College in the semi-final game, going 5-1 for the tournament.

After such a strong performance on the road, the Sept. 15 loss at home to Western Wyoming was even more difficult for the team to accept.

"They're a decent team, but we played horrible," coach Brent Martindale commented. "It was the one time we really didn't show up."

With such a young and inexperienced team, though, Martindale said expectations prior to the season were mixed.

"I'm happy with the progress, but not elated," he stated.

CEU has faced only one conference team this season. The Sept. 8 game against College of Southern Idaho came out in Idaho's favor, although Martindale said the team played well and kept up.

Southern Idaho is currently ranked as the number two team in the nation.

The Lady Eagles will have another difficult battle on Friday, when they host the Lady Bruins of Salt Lake Community College.

SLCC is the third ranked team in the National Junior College Athletic Association polls.

Martindale said the Salt Lake team has taken a big step up from last season, with a strong returning team leader and three international recruits lurking on the court.

The Lady Eagles will spend much of their time in practice working on finding and exploiting the weaknesses of the Lady Bruins, according to Martindale.

Friday's game against Salt Lake Community College will begin at 7 p.m. at the Bunnell-Dmitrich Athletic Center.

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