Back-to-back blocks from freshman Jacob Durren (Gloucester, Va./Gloucester) kicked EMU into high gear, triggering a 3-0 road win for the Royals volleyball men.
Saturday night's sweep of Immaculata was a big one, not only from the standpoint of score, but also in the trajectory of the season. After an 0-8 start to the year, including losses to five nationally ranked teams, EMU finally cracked into the win column. More importantly, the Royals improved to 1-1 in the Continental Volleyball Conference.
The men return home for another national showdown, hosting Southern Virginia Tuesday night at 7:00pm. The Knights (6-1/2-0 CVC) were ranked No. 11 in last week's AVCA Poll.
Against the Mighty Macs (0-6/0-3 CVC), a new program and one of three teams to join the CVC this season, Durren's two stuffs helped break open a 15-15 deadlock. The middle finished with three kills and two blocks during EMU's 10-0 run to end the first set, a 25-15 win.
Led by a combined three service aces from Travis Abele (Mechanicsville, Va./Lee-Davis) and R.J. Ocampo (Virginia Beach, Va./First Colonial), the Royals carried the momentum into a 12-1 start to the second set. Immaculata never threatened there in a 25-8 final.
Eastern Mennonite had a 9-1 run early in the third to take control again. Martin Pou (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) finished the night with the team's ninth ace to wrap up a 25-11 finale.
Setter Wyatt Bollinger (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) racked up 30 assists in the sweep, as the team hit a season high .354. Sean Wright (Glen Allen, Va./Deep Run) led the balanced attack with nine kills, followed closely by eight from Abele. The senior also had six digs and three aces.
Durren finished with six kills and three blocks, while Ocampo had five kills and four aces. Hunter Taylor (Ashland, Va./Patrick Henry) led the team with eight digs. Both he and Pou chipped in four kills.
Garrett Pepper led the Mighty Macs with five kills and a pair of blocks.