The last pre-season tournament away from home proved the most challenging as the Eastern Wyoming College volleyball team went 1-3 at Northeastern Junior College over the weekend.
The Lancers fell flat in the tournament opener against fledgling program New Mexico Junior College, and were swept 25-27, 21-25, 23-25 despite holding late leads in the first two sets.
EWC generated enough offense to keep things interesting but 22 hitting errors and a .095 hitting percentage gave the Thunderbirds the edge in their second-ever program victory.
Friday evening didn't get any easier with No. 8-ranked Snow College awaiting EWC. The Lancers had their moments but ultimately were not prepared to compete with the Badgers in a 11-25, 15-25, 14-25 loss. The Lancers managed only 23 kills in three sets and hit -.022
Eastern started to get back on track Saturday with a 25-22, 25-22, 26-24 sweep of North Platte. The Lancers totaled 42 kills and a .252 hitting percentage whole holding the Knights to just 31 kills. EWC also out-aced the Knights 8-5.
Freshman outside Vanja Pržulj had 12 kills and hit .526 while adding four digs. Sophomore outside
Charlène Hosly reached 10 kills to go with five digs.
Freshman libero J'Adore Hayes led the team with 11 digs.
The tournament finale went down as a loss in the record books but saw the Lancers play tough as nails from first serve to final whistle.
EWC lost to Otero 26-28, 25-19, 22-25, 23-25 in a tightly contested match that saw the Lancers hold set point in each of the first two sets and score just one fewer point than the Rattlers over four sets.
Hosly had a game-best 18 kills (.341), followed by 15 from Pržulj and nine from freshman opposite Alyssa Parmelee. Hosly also had a team-high 18 digs, followed by 15 each from Hayes and sophomore Nadia Montalbán.