KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. - Oregon Tech lost key momentum at inopportune times Friday, and paid for it. The Hustlin' Owls, who had rallied in the first set and controlled much of the second set, ended dropping a 3-1, (25-22, 15-25, 25-15, 25-1) Cascade Collegiate Conference volleyball match to eighth-rated Eastern Oregon at Danny Miles Court.
"I told them that I thought we fought hard," OIT coach Andrew Clifton said. "Our passing game fell apart; our offense was a little off. I think we scoreboard watched a little bit (in the final two sets). We have the ability to come back on people. There were some things out of our control which changed some of the momentum."
Tech came back well and positioned itself for possible wins in the final two sets.
In the first set, Eastern took a 3-0 lead and never trailed, although Tech was able to cut its deficit to 19-18 before the Mountaineers could get the win.
In the second set, which was tied six times, Tech took its first lead of the night, 7-6, and would, eventually, open up what at that point had been the biggest advantage for either team when the Hustlin' Owls went up 19-11.
In the third set, the teams were tied 8-8 before Eastern rolled off seven straight points and Tech never fully recovered.
In the final set, again tied 8-8, Eastern scored four straight points to take the lead for good. Tech, though, still was in the set at 20-17 before the Mountaineers served out the victory which allowed them to remain in a tight, three-team chase for the league lead.
"We're right there," Clifton said.
Amanda Powley had 25 assists and Jamie Toedtemeier 20 for Tech, while Aubrey Kievit finished with 23 digs, Lindsey Sampson 14 and Alicia Volk 12. Ashley Ripplinger was involved in five blocks, including one solo effort.
OIT is in a stretch where it plays four top 20 rated teams in a five-match set in the conference including hosting number 20 College of Idaho Saturday night at Danny Miles Court. No. 8 EOU will play at No.5 SOU in Ashland in an NAIA Top 10 battle.