In an important and impressive weekend for the EMU men’s volleyball team, the standout player was a new face for the Royals, freshman Josh Elmore (Chester, Va./Matoaca). Josh notches his first Royals Athlete of the Week accolade after the stellar performance.
The outside hitter showed his strengths early in his career by helping the Royals defeat two ranked opponents, taking down No. 7 Nazareth and No. 9 Vassar. He notched a double double with 18 kills and 11 digs in the 3-2 win over Vassar on Saturday, shortly after hammering a career high 22 kills in a five-set loss against No. 10 Kean. He had a career best six blocks in Friday’s upset of Nazareth.
Over the three matches at last weekend’s Clash at Kean, Josh had 50 kills and a .282 attack percentage. He also added 22 digs and nine blocks.
Josh currently leads EMU with 81 kills and 3.12 kills/set. To add to the impressive line so far, he is also second on the team in digs with 42 and third in blocks with 18.
“My focus going into the games was just trying to do whatever I could in order to help the team in the most positive way,” Josh stated on the weekend. “On the court, we really came together as a team and we were able to surprise our opponents with how we played.”
After the two upsets, Eastern Mennonite’s men also earned a spot in the AVCA national poll for the first time since March of 2009.
Josh also grabbed the Continental Volleyball Conference Player of the Week honor.
“Winning CVC Player of the Week is definitely a good feeling,” he added. “It's something I wanted to do this year but I couldn't have done it without my teammates.”
Interim coach Ross Madden has been impressed with his freshman so far, talking about his strength as a high-end offensive outside hitter.
“Josh is a slugger and will continue to be an offensive threat throughout the years he has here,” Coach Madden stated. “He is just a freshman so expect great things from Mr. Elmore in the future.”
Being a freshman, the transition into college can be a difficult task, but Josh is beginning to feel more at ease on the court.
“I knew coming into this season the transition would definitely take some time,” he explained. “Coach Madden has continued to help me in so many different ways that have helped tremendously. I'm becoming more comfortable on the court every day.”
Josh is a business administration major and, even early in his academic career, he has plans to start his own business after college.
After a well-timed break in the schedule, Josh and the rest of the men’s volleyball team will look to continue their hot start to the 2017 season when they host reigning CVC champion Stevenson University in their first conference match next Wednesday.
-- by Jake Brown, Sports Information Intern