Volleyball Graphic 2Sven Alskog

Sports Editor

Once again the Idaho State volleyball team is sitting at the top of the conference standings, with two pivotal games taking place this week inside Reed Gym.

Last week the Bengals took on Eastern Washington, a team that entered the match with an identical 7-1 record in Big Sky play, going on to knock off the Eagles in straight sets.

On Saturday the Idaho Vandals became victim 17 to be handed a loss by ISU during a season featuring Bengal victories over Cal. State Northridge, Boise State, Utah State, Pepperdine and conference powerhouse Northern Colorado on the road.

Heading into weekend home contests with Northern Arizona and Southern Utah at Reed Gym, ISU is 17-7 overall and 9-1 within the conference.

Recently efforts have been made all over social media prompting students and the community to bring in over 1,000 fans.

The efforts almost came to fruition last week, with 846 showing up for the match with EWU and 847 on Saturday against Idaho.

On Thursday, when the Bengals host the Lumberjacks of NAU, they will be looking to avenge their only conference loss so far this season, a 3-1 decision on the road in Flagstaff. Both teams are tied for first in the south division at 9-1 in Big Sky play.

The Lumberjacks are led by two-time All-Big Sky First Team selection Janae Vander Ploeg, who earned Big Sky Conference Volleyball Player of the Week honors earlier this season after 24 kills and 12 digs against ISU, including committing just one error.

The Bengals have had plenty of recognition on the player of the week honors this season themselves, with Hayley Farrer earning one on Oct. 12 and Kenzie Filer on Sep. 7 and Oct. 5 for their performances.

ISU also boasts the reigning Big Sky MVP in Tressa Lyman to boot.

Chloe Hirst, Marissa Todd and Bailey Bars also help to lead the attack for the Bengals, rounding out the typical starting six for Head Coach Rick Reynolds.

On both Thursday and Saturday the matches will start at 7 p.m. inside Reed Gym. The final regular season home contest comes on Nov. 12 as the Bengals host the Montana Grizzlies.

If ISU finishes with the best regular season record in the conference the team will host the Big Sky Tournament for the second year in a row after a heart-breaking loss in the championship match with Northern Colorado.

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