By James Ritchey
24 Aug (Home)
ERAU 3 – 1 Hope International
ERAU hosted and played in its own Volleyball tournament, playing Hope International in the first two of its three games. In both matches, the Eagles came out on top with the same final score. The two teams played very evenly in the first set, but the Eagles stayed ahead by a few points for most of the set. HIU surged ahead late in the game, tying the score at 17 and pushing forward to take a 23-25 win. The second set played out similarly, however this time, it was HIU who led for most of the set. The Eagles stayed within two points of the Royals for nearly the entire game, even leading briefly 14-13 before again falling slightly behind. An HIU attack error tied the game at 18-18, and ERAU took that advantage and ran with it, taking the lead on a kill by Erin Clark. HIU stayed within striking distance until two attack errors gave the Eagles a 23-20 lead. Errors on both sides gave the Eagles a 25-23 win to tie the match.
The momentum from the second set gave ERAU confidence in the third set. After holding a small 10-9 lead, the Eagles scored seven straight points to give them a nearly insurmountable lead; they took a 2-1 match lead with 25-16 set win. In the fourth set, the Eagles started strong, pushing ahead to a 13-6 lead early in the set. However, the Royals then fought back, taking a 18-19 lead to give the Eagles a scare. ERAU then responded with six straight points from causing five HIU errors and a kill from Erin Clark. A final kill from Caylee Robalin finished the match with a 25-20 win.
After a short break, both teams returned to the court for an immediate rematch. The Eagles returned dominant, capitalizing on several HIU errors to take a 20-8 lead. A few more kills and ERAU found themselves up 1-0 in the match from a 25-12 win. In the second set, the Royals were able to find their bearing again and put up a fight. HIU went up 7-15 over ERAU, and the Eagles were unable to recover. HIU tied the match with a 17-25 win. The third set saw the Eagles back in their groove, going ahead 10-3 to begin. ERAU kept the pressure on HIU, and maintained a consistent lead, finally taking the third set 25-20. In a tumultuous fourth set, the Eagles found themselves down 2-11, their largest deficit of the day. However, in the coming plays, the Eagles maintained a good defensive effort and cut down that deficit. A series of aces, blocks, and kills brought the Eagles back into the game, tying at 15-15. A hard fought battle on both sides ensued, and the Royals and Eagles found themselves tied at 24-24. Kills from Erin Clark and Caylee Robalin sealed the victory for the Eagles, and pushed them into the second day of the tournament.
25 Aug (Home)
ERAU 3 – 0 Arizona Christian
In the last game of their home tournament, the Eagles comfortably swept the ACU Firestorm. In the first set, ERAU took an early lead and maintained a superior level of play, taking the set 25-16. In the second set, the Eagles expanded a 11-7 lead by scoring six straight points to stifle any attempt of an ACU comeback. A kill by Erin Clark and a series of service errors by the Firestorm gave the Eagles a 25-17 set win. Without succumbing to overconfidence, the Eagles ensured a match win with a solid performance in the third set. Scoring four straight points early in the set to take a 5-2 lead, ERAU was clearly superior as the set progressed. Late in the game, the Eagles scored seven straight points to take a 23-9 lead. An ACU service error and a kill from Caylee Robalin sealed the victory with a 25-12 set win. Erin Clark led the Eagles with 13 kills and 14 points, while Caylee Robalin earned 11 kills and 11.5 points.
Women’s Soccer (1-1)
20 Aug (Home)
ERAU 4 – 1 Midland
Women’s Soccer kicked off their season facing highly-ranked opponent Midland University. The Eagles, ranked 14th in the nation, looked to build off their highly successful 2017 season against Midland, who had received votes in the latest NAIA Top 25 poll. The Warriors were the first to strike, scoring an unassisted goal in the 25th minute. However, Breanna Larkin tied the match 1-1 late in the first half off an assist from Sierra Vicente, capitalizing on one of ERAU’s many offensive pushes. With under three minutes left in the first half, the Eagles received a penalty opportunity to potentially take the lead, but were unable to convert, and the halftime score remained 1-1. The Eagles had 14 shots in the first half, compared to the Warriors’ six. That offensive momentum paid off in the second half, as Maggie McElrath scored early in the half from an assist from Riley Martinson. Later, Riley Martinson ensured an ERAU victory by scoring two goals in less than two minutes; Ashley Askevold assisted both. The Eagles finished the game with 26 shots, while Midland had only nine. Midland also garnered 13 fouls, including two yellow cards.
24 Aug (Home)
ERAU 0 – 1 Eastern Oregon
Eastern Oregon, ranked 25th nationally, barely escaped with a win over ERAU in their second game of the season. Both teams put forth several offensive drives in the first half but none resulted in a goal. ERAU goalkeeper Caitlyn Aaron had three saves in the first half. Early in the second half, EOU managed to break the stalemate and score. However, this only inspired ERAU to work harder and put forth even more shots and offensive pushes. Unfortunately, by the time the 90 minutes were up, the Eagles never found the back of the net. ERAU had 18 shots overall to EOU’s 10.
Men’s Soccer (0-1)
17 Aug (Home)
ERAU 2 – 4 Ottawa University
The ERAU Men’s Soccer team opened their season against in-state rivals Ottawa University. The Eagles began the match well, as Simon Jensen gave them a 1-0 lead within the first three minutes off an assist from David Bates. The Spirit responded in kind, but ERAU goaltender David Hutto was able to make two saves to stall the OU counterattack. However, they were still able to tie the match with a goal at 29:46. About 10 minutes later, Mason Laaksonen returned the lead to the Eagles with a goal off an assist from Sergio Montero. The Eagles went into halftime leading 2-1, and returned eager to maintain their lead. A defensive struggle ensued as the second half kicked off, with both sides struggling to put together a solid offensive effort. About 21 minutes into the half, OU managed to tie the game on an unassisted goal. About two minutes later, they found the back of the net again and took the lead. The Eagles attempted to lock down their defense, playing a much more physical game, resulting in ERAU committing several fouls. With just 20 seconds left in the match, the Spirit scored yet again to cap off their victory. Both teams ended the match with similar statistics, each having 14 shots, eight shots on goal, and five corner kicks.