SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The Eastern Kentucky University volleyball team started the final day of the Aztec Invitational off with a thrilling four set win over California State University, Northridge before falling to Portland State.
EKU won by scores of 25-16, 10-25, 27-25, 25-27 and 15-17.
In game one against California State University, Northridge (0-2) neither team seemed to be able to get their bearings in the first two sets. CSUN claimed the first, 25-16, while EKU (2-1) claimed the second, 25-10.
The Colonels were down in the match 2-1 going into the fourth set. There was a lot of point exchanging until Celina Sanks drilled a ball to tie the set at 14-14. Back-to-back errors from the Matadors kept the ball on the EKU side of the net and after freshman Lauren Kolenik notched a kill of her own that is where it stayed with the Colonels leading 17-14. CSUN tied the game at 19-19 and four more times after but another successful attack from Kolenik was enough to seal the set, 27-25, for EKU and give them new life.
In the fifth set a service ace from Chloe Rojas and a pair of kills from Sanks and Rachel Woody gave EKU an early 3-1 advantage, but after a pair of kills on the Matador side of the ball and a pair of attack errors CSUN found themselves with a 5-3 lead.
After a back-and-forth battle the game was tied at 11-11. Nikki Drost put a bead on the ball to break the tie and EKU never trailed again. The set tied three more times, 12-12, 14-14 and 15-15, but Sanks and Drost proved to be too much for CSUN after a pair of attacks, giving the Colonels a 17-15 win.
In the win EKU had three outside hitters in double figures with kills: Drost (16), Sanks (15) and Knutson, who had a double-double finishing with 10 kills and 15 digs. Woody tallied 43 assists and Rojas had 16 digs.
CSUN’s Aeryn Owens led all players with 22 kills.
The Colonels fell to Portland State (2-1) in their final game at the Aztec Invitational, 3-0, by scores of 23-25, 15-25 and 7-25.
EKU will be back in action on Tuesday at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. First serve is set for 9 p.m. ET.