Idaho, Seattle to visit Eagles
Non-conference home games against Idaho and Seattle University highlight the Eastern Washington men’s basketball schedule released this week.
The Eagles open the season at home against Concordia of Portland on Nov. 4, and return for a trio of home games against Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 30, Idaho on Dec. 6 and Seattle on Dec. 10.
In between, the Eagles will play six road games, including a Nov. 10 date at Washington State and at Saint Mary’s on Nov. 18.
All dates have been finalized, but tip-off times are subject to change.
The opener against Concordia is the only non-Division I matchup. “That’s in hopes of raising our RPI,” said second-year head coach Jim Hayford, whose team is also playing Nov. 20-23 in the CBE Classic in Santa Clara, Calif.
The Eagles open their 20-game Big Sky Conference schedule at home against defending regular-season co-champion Weber State on Dec. 20 and Idaho State on Dec. 22.
The regular season also ends with Weber State, March 9 in Ogden, Utah.
Jaicee Harris and Rachel Todorovich combined for 24 kills to lead Washington State to a season-opening 25-23, 25-12, 25-19 victory over Montana at the Idaho Nike Invitational tournament in Moscow, Idaho.
Idaho lost its opening match in the tournament, 3-2 to Pacific, after winning the first two games.
Alyssa Schultz led the Vandals with 13 kills and a .478 hitting percentage.
• Gonzaga won its season opener, 3-2 over Portland State, at the Northwest Challenge hosted by the University of Washington in Seattle.
Freshmen Savannah Blinn and Jordan Gasser combined for 28 of the Bulldogs’ 57 kills.
Gonzaga won the first two games, 25-23 and 26-24, but didn’t put the match away until Blinn’s 14th kill gave them a 17-15 win in the fifth game.
• Eastern Washington lost two matches and its starting setter at the University of Wyoming tournament in Laramie.
San Francisco defeated the Eagles 3-1, as did Seattle University.
Eastern’s biggest loss however, may be starting setter Lindsay Niemeier, who suffered a knee injury against San Francisco and did not return. She will be evaluated when the team returns to Cheney.
Niemeier, who led the Big Sky Conference with 17 double-doubles last season, had 30 assists and 10 digs when she went down in the third game against the Dons.
• North Idaho College opened its season at the Spokane Crossover at the HUB in Spokane Valley with wins over Carroll College (25-19, 20-25, 25-17, 24-26, 17-15) and Warner Pacific (25-10, 25-23, 25-17).
Washington State posted its second shutout in two games, defeating Boise State 6-0 in Pullman.
Micaela Castain scored two goals and four other Cougars one apiece.
Gurveen Clair and Ariana Byrd split time in goal, with Clair making the only save in the shutout.
• Gonzaga scored three first-half goals to erase a one-goal deficit and went on to defeat Idaho 3-2 in Moscow.
Emma Dolcetti, Ali Ohashi and Kellyn Nelson scored for Gonzaga (2-1-0). Jill Flockhart and Meli Cortez had the goals for Idaho (1-2-0).
• Eastern Washington lost its season opener 3-2 to North Dakota State in Cheney.
Kayla Sutter and Alisha Stott scored for the Eagles.
• North Idaho defeated Salt Lake 4-2 at Rock Springs, Wyo.
Anna Valentine scored twice for NIC (2-0).
Gonzaga was outshot 17-9 by Washington but managed to force the Huskies into overtime before dropping a 2-1 decision in a season opener in Seattle.
Clark Phillips scored for Gonzaga.
Gonzaga junior Emily Thomas has been named to the West Coast Conference women’s preseason team and the Bulldogs were picked to finish fifth.
Thomas finished ninth in the WCC Championship last season and 56th in the NCAA West Regional.