OLYMPIA, Wash. – A strong opening set and a solid closing set proved to be the difference as the Northwest Eagles defeated the Evergreen Geoducks, 25-14, 25-22, 24-26, 25-16, in a Cascade Conference volleyball match on Tuesday night at CRC Gymnasium in Olympia, Wash.
In the first set, it was all Northwest (3-5, 1-2 CCC) as the Eagles flew out to a 12-3 lead over the Geoducks (0-8, 0-3 CCC). Northwest continued to cruise, leading 24-10, before the Geoducks finally woke up, landing five straight points before the Eagles clinched the frame, 25-14.
In the second set, the Geoducks had a strong game hitting, with 12 kills and just five errors on 36 attacks but six service errors by the green and white allowed Northwest to steal the set, 25-22. The Eagles managed 10 kills with five errors on 34 attacks for a .147 clip in the second frame.
The third set looked to be going Northwest’s way early but a six-point Geoduck swing put Evergreen ahead 18-17. The teams continued to trade points before a kill by Cassidy Watkins (Tucson, Ariz./Trevecca Nazarene Univ.) and an attack error by NU’s Arika Zwack gave the Geoducks, the 25-24 set three win to force a fourth game.
Northwest took control of the fourth set early and the Geoducks could never close the gap at the Eagles cruised to a 25-16 set four win to clinch the match. The Eagles had their top hitting set of the match, putting down 17 kills with just two errors on 46 attacks for a .326 clip. On the other side of the net, the Geoducks managed 11 kills with six errors on 45 attacks for a .111 hitting percentage.
The Geoducks were led by 14 kills from Watkins, who also added 11 digs on the night. Sasha Nash (Salt Lake City, Utah/Skyline HS) added 23 assists to go with a team-high 19 digs while Brittany Covert (Chino Hills, Calif./Northern Michigan Univ.) earned four blocks on the match.
Northwest was led by 18 kills from Olivia Vandlac. Ashton Arbuthnot had 43 assists on the night while Heather Shulke, the reigning CCC Libero of the Week, led all players with 21 digs.
Both teams will play their next match at CRC Gymnasium as the Eagles head back down to Olympia to participate in the Evergreen Red Lion Invitational. Northwest will open up tournament action on Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m. against Columbia Bible, followed by the Geoducks and Simon Fraser at 5 p.m. Camosun and Lewis & Clark will also be participating in the tournament, and will face off at 7 p.m.