In volleyball, you can't win if you don't hit well.
Eastern Mennonite proved that in Thursday night's 3-1 victory over Ferrum, as well as the opposite adage that when you hit well, you tend to win. The Royals hit a combined .246 in the three sets they won as they improved to 8-13 after the non-conference clash.
The win was a great athletic kick-off to EMU's Centennial Homecoming and Family Weekend.
The Royals labored their way through the opening set, using a 4-0 run midway through to gain a little space. EMU closed out with a 25-20 score.
Ferrum (3-16) jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the second and never trailed. The women forged a few ties, the final at 17-17, but the Panthers ended on an 8-2 streak to even the match, 25-19. EMU hit .000 in the set.
Eastern Mennonite scored first in the crucial third set, but still led only 17-15 midway through. That's when the offense caught fire, slamming five kills during a set-clinching 8-0 tear as the Royals won, 25-15.
The Panthers managed an early 7-4 lead in the fourth, before the EMU scored five straight to take over. Another 5-0 run bumped the margin to 19-11 to effectively end the drama. Maria Yoder (Manheim, Pa./Hempfield) landed her 15th kill to close out the contest, 25-17.
The Royals' middles were extremely effective, combining for 26 kills. Yoder led the way with a season high 15 against just two errors with a .500 attack percentage, another season high. Beck Hoskins (Danville, Va./Westover Christian Academy) put down 11 kills with a .364 attack percentage. She tied her career high in kills.
Defensively, Skyler Johnson (Harrisonburg, Va./Harrisonburg) had another dominant performance with 34 digs, tying her career best for a four-set contest. Sam Jacob (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) picked up 17 digs.
Chemaiya Jordan topped Ferrum with nine kills. Cheyenne Strickland had an all-around effort with seven kills, 14 set assists and 15 digs.
The Eastern Mennonite women have the weekend off as they prepare for next Wednesday's ODAC road match at Shenandoah. They return home on Friday, Oct. 20, to host Lynchburg. Both contests are Dig Pink events.