In their usual fashion, the Eagles Volleyball team is off to a phenomenal start with an overall record of 16-3. Of the Eagles’ three losses, the most recent came from Juniata College, ranked #1 in the Division III National Poll. Despite the loss, the Eagles were able to win the third set with a score of 25-22 and avoid the sweep. On Sept. 29, the NCAA updated the national rankings, moving the Eagles up to #10 in the national poll. Eastern is the only team in the MAC Freedom Conference to be ranked nationally. Freshman Michelle Paulsen is the only individual EU player with a nationally-ranking statistic. As of Sept. 27, Paulsen is tied for #7 in blocks per set, averaging 1.25.
While national rankings are certainly something to be proud of, the Eagles’ first goal is to clinch the MAC Freedom Conference. The Eagles have won all of their conference matches this season, claiming victories against Delaware Valley University on Sept. 16 (3-0), King’s College on Sept. 22 (3-0), and DeSales University on Sept. 30 (3-0). Eastern will have two conference matches in the next couple of weeks, including Manhattanville College on Oct. 6 and FDU-Florham on Oct. 14.
Individually, Junior Stephanie Elechko currently leads the team in kills, with a total of 191 and averaging 3.13 per set. Elechko also leads in total attempts (TA) with 508 so far this season, followed by junior Alicia Weigel with 406 and senior Erin Hillman with 359. Defensively, junior libero Rylie Haas has a total of 310 digs, averaging 4.63 per set. In the blocking columns, freshman Michelle Paulsen leads with 13 solo blocks and 62 assisted blocks. Following closely behind are senior Kaitlyn Gochenaur with 12 solo blocks and sophomore Morgan Shemonski with 42 assisted blocks.
The Eagles have shown great tenacity this season in their ability to come back from tough losses. This resilient attitude will work in the Eagles’ favor as they prepare for the rest of the season. Be sure to come out and support the Eagles Volleyball Team at home on Oct. 23-24 in the Eastern Quad-Match.