By: Joey Chapman

After opening the 2015 with a disappointing 0-4 record, the young Colonels volleyball team entered the Lady Vol Classic with hopes of getting its season back on track.

Competition began Friday when the Colonels faced off against UNC Greensboro who was fresh off a win against Farleigh Dickinson. 18 points wouldn’t be enough for the Colonels in the first two sets, as Eastern quickly fell behind 2-0. The Colonels were down, but never out as they battled back from the deficit to win their next two sets 25-19 and 25-17, forcing a fifth set to decide the winner. UNC Greensboro played strong out of the gate and denied a comeback from the Colonels to win the set 15-12, and the match 3-2.

There was still a chance for Eastern to grab a win as they squared off against North Florida in its second match of the day. Seemingly even-matched, Eastern and UNF traded wins in the first two sets, though the Colonels put the Ospreys in checkmate with a 25-20 win in the third set. UNF proved to be too much as it set up a comeback and forced a decisive fifth set, winning the set 15-10 and improving its overall record to 4-1.

Sophomore outside hitter Danielle Hicks was the leading performer for Eastern, finishing the day with 26 kills.

The rough Friday lead to an even tougher Saturday against an undefeated Tennessee Volunteers (7-0) team. The Colonels struggled to get in a groove during the first set, dropping it 25-18.

Sophomore Celina Sanks led a Colonels comeback in the second set, as Eastern rallied to grab a 22-20 lead over the Vols. Tennessee withstood the Colonels’ rally and finished the set strong, winning 25-23. The Vols then defeated the Colonels 25-16 in the third set to take the match 3-0.

The Colonels (0-7) continue to vie for their first win of the season, but will be facing stout competition ahead. Eastern heads to South Bend, Ind., this weekend for the Shamrock Invitational where they will face Penn State (5-0) on Friday, then Notre Dame (2-4) and Mississippi State (6-1) on Saturday.