Eureka had another strong weekend of play when the Lady Vandals had a total of three matches to play on Friday and Saturday. Eureka hosted league opponent Carlin at home on Friday night and traveled to Owhyee on Saturday for a league double header.
The Lady Railroaders had previously lost their first league match against Eureka. The dominance did not change hands in the second meeting as Eureka won in three quick games. According to Head Coach Sherri Wilker, “Carlin had trouble receiving our serve.” Eureka took advantage of that fact as Shara Green led the team with 11 aces while Beth Damele contributed with 4 aces of her own. The Lady Vandals were also on the attack with Amanda Ketzenberg leading the team in kills with 5. Angela Porter, Beth Damele, Bridgette Bacon, Elsie Etchegaray, and Shara Green each added 3 kills of their own.
Eureka, using their strong serving and getting an array of kills by multiple players, beat Carlin convincingly. They won with scores of 25-18, 25-8, and 25-9 to sweep the league series against Carlin. On Saturday, they traveled the five plus hours to Owhyee to partake in a double-header against the Lady Braves.
In the first 2 out 3 game against Owhyee, Eureka struggled with the size of middle-blocker Kaira Egan who tops out at 6 feet tall. “Egan’s place hitting and defense created chaos within our defense,” coach Sherri Wilker explained. After 3 rotations of Egan being at the net, Eureka fell behind 13-4 and were never able to recover as they lost the first game 25-13. Eureka had a slightly better showing in the second game, but eventually lost 17-25 to the Lady Braves to give them the first match of the double header.
Eureka snapped out of their temporary funk in the second match as they played much better and with much more urgency. “Realizing the importance of winning at least one of the matches of the double-header for seeding purposes at regionals, the ladies changed their pace of play in the second match,” coach Sherri Wilker explained. Eureka used two setters in the second match to change up the combination of hitters and setters against the towering Egan of Owhyee which paid dividends. The Lady Vandals took advantage of the serves in which Egan was in the back row as they pounded the ball at the defenseless Owhyee attack.
Eureka took the all important second match of the double header with scores of 25-21 and 25-22 in the closely contested match. Shara Green led the team with 9 kills while Angela Porter and Ashlee Ketzenberg each added 8 kills.
The Lady Vandals have one more league volleyball match remaining before playoffs. They will travel to Mcdermitt this Saturday to try and close out the regular season on a positive note before they head to the regional tournament. As for Eureka’s playoff seed, it is unclear as of what seed they will get, but there is a probable scenario. Eureka split their league matches against Owhyee and Wells which makes a three way tie between the squads. If all three teams win their remaining league contests, there will be a 3-way tie for first place. If there is a tie, it looks like Owhyee will earn the top seed by point differential, while Eureka will go in second edging out Wells.