By: Tony Martins
The Eagles traveled to Penn State Berks this weekend to take on the Bison of Gallaudet, the Lions of PS Berks, the Chargers of Lancaster Bible College and the Lions of Penn State Harrisburg.
The Eagles opened with defending NEAC Champion Gallaudet. The story of the match was that the Bison serving attack was able to force the Screaming Eagles passing game into many poor passes that did not allow the Eagle offense to get into rhythm. Although there were many long rallies in the match, the Eagles just didn't seem to be on the winning end of those and the Bison were able to maintain a comfortable distance between themselves and CSE throughout the match. CSE falls to Gallaudet 25-14, 25-11, 25-11. Katie Cooper led the way offensively for the Eagles with 9 kills and 2 aces.
The Eagles then faced off against 2011 #1 ranked team and 2010 NEAC Runner-Up Penn State Berks.
The Eagles came into the match looking to improve their passing and, as result, their offense against the Lions but this tough serving team kept the Eagles off balance and the Lions were the ones able to pound out kills consistently. The Eagles were unable to convert on their opportunities consistently and had to rely on their serving game to keep things close. The Lions, however, did not allow the Eagles to get into any consistent run and CSE fell for the second time 25-14, 25-14, 25-14. Kareemah Muhammad and Katie Cooper led the way offensively with 6 kills apiece and Subhana Wrights chipped in 5 and added 3 blocks. Chanice Sears had 3 aces on the day to pace the Eagle serving attack.
The Eagles took on the Chargers in their first match on Sunday and seemed to have fixed some of their passing woes that plagued then on Saturday. The offense though, sputtered and couldn't figure out a consistent way to attack the Charger defense. The team dropped the first set 25-16 in a tight affair that was close until late in the set when Lancaster Bible pulled away for good. Set number 2 though saw a much more spirited and efficient Eagle team who passed well and therefore, ran offense well. The Eagles pounded out 11 kills in the set and took control late to win 25-21.
CSE could not sustain the momentum they gathered from the win and saw the third set turn early as the Chargers took control 9-3 and never looked back as they closed the set 25-13. The fourth set was an improvement but only after the Eagles yet again fell behind midway through the set. With the Eagles coming back to tie the set 7-7, the Chargers went on a 9-0 run to create the space they needed to ice the Eagles. CSE falls to the Chargers 16-25, 25-21, 13-25 and 17-25. Kareemah Muhammad and Katie Cooper combined for 19 kills and 2 aces to lead the Eagles. Katie Cooper and Rachel Hausler added 28 digs combined.
CSE closed out the weekend against the Lions of Penn State Harrisburg. The Lions gave the Eagles all they could handle in a tight match that went 5 sets. The Eagles miscues were the culprit in the first set as the team saw Harrisburg take a 16-25 win in set 1. Set 2 was a much cleaner game, especially at the end of the match, when Rachel Hausler took control of things from the service line and helped the Eagles land a 25-22 come from behind set win. The third set saw the return of the miscues that, combined with better serving from Harrisburg, took a toll on the Eagles' offense early. The Eagles took control midway through the set through the timely hitting of Subhana Wrights and never looked back as the Eagles finished strong with a 25-17 score. The fourth set saw a continuation of Eagle miscues and the Lions pounced on the opportunity as they fought to survive in the match. Although the Eagles mounted a late comeback, Harrisburg had too much of a lead and closed out the set 25-22. In the fifth and deciding set, the Eagles were nearly flawless. Although the Lions took a quick 2-0 lead, the Eagles saw a drastic improvement in their play that led to an early lead (7-4) that the Eagles would not relinquish. After the Lions crawled to within 2 at 7-5, CSE went on a damaging 5-0 (12-5 )run that put the Lions in dire straits. The Eagles outscored the Lions 3-2 the rest of the way and closed out the set and match 15-7.
Subhana Wrights was outstanding in the match, pounding out a team leading 14 kills, also a season and career high. The passing trio of Katie Cooper, Misato Oya and Rachel Hausler was outstanding as the Eagles offense was able to attack the Lions in transition with good quality attempts. Rachel Hausler was key in solidifying the win as she passed up a team leading 27 digs that helped spur the Eagles' offense. Kareemah Muhammad and Katie Cooper added 25 kills while Amy Cooper distributed 33 assists and added a team leading 4 aces. Chanice Sears added 3 aces and 4 kills. Jenae Goodson used her serving prowess to add 3 aces and also helped set the offense up with 3 assists. Ibmatu Sesay kept the back row defense steady and chipped in 1 assist and 1 dig.
The Eagles celebrate their annual Think Pink Day on Tuesday at home versus John Jay College at 7:00pm.