EUREKA — The Eureka volleyball team saw some improvement as the match went on in Wednesday's home opener against Benedictine.
However, the Eagles stayed in control and completed a 25-17, 25-18, 25-21 sweep at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena.
Junior setter Sara Worrell (Jacksonville, Ill./Routt) recorded her fourth double-double in seven matches for the Red Devils, logging 18 assists and 12 digs, along with a pair of service aces.
Caitlin Miller (Washington, Ill./Washington) notched a team-high seven kills while hitting .400, while Ariel Campbell (Decatur, Ill./Cerro Gordo) and Annaliese Miller (Chenoa, Ill./Prairie Central) followed with six and five kills, respectively.
The Eagles hit .178 on the night, with Taylor Dunwell leading the way with 10 of her team's 29 kills. Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Player of the Week Alyssa Mojica registered 16 assists, and the Eagles racked up 16 aces at the service line. Dunwell posted a team-high five aces.
In the first set, the Red Devils got off to a rough start, falling behind 10-1. A 5-1 EC run later brought the team within four points at 16-12, but after the visitors responded with a 4-2 burst to make it 20-14, Benedictine led by at least six the rest of the way.
The maroon and gold the second set considerably closer early on, trailing by just two at 12-10 and 15-13. A kill by Caitlin Miller later made it 22-18, but the Eagles ripped off four straight points to close out the match.
In the final set, Eureka was competitive early, keeping it even at 7-7 through the first 14 points, but the Eagles seized the upper hand with an 8-0 run to take a 15-7 advantage.
EC responded well, however, narrowing the gap to three points at 19-16 before ultimately falling 25-21 in the closest scored set of the match.
With the loss, EC fell to 3-4 on the season. Benedictine, meanwhile, improved to 6-2.
After Wednesday, the Red Devils have 10 days before their next match. Next Saturday, they'll open St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play against Westminster in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.