EMU Volleyball Men Play Well Against Another Ranked Opponent

Wyatt Bollinger (17) has 68 assists in his three matches as the sole setter. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Wyatt Bollinger (17) has 68 assists in his three matches as the sole setter. (photo by Scott Eyre)

EMU's volleyball men put up a solid fight against No. 11 Southern Virginia Tuesday night in Harrisonburg. The visiting Knights had too much firepower, however, taking home a 3-0 sweep.

The Royals fall to 1-9 overall with six of those losses coming to teams ranked in the top 15 of the AVCA National Poll. At 1-2 in the Continental Volleyball Conference, Eastern Mennonite looks to add to the win column on a road swing to Pennsylvania this weekend, playing at Elizabethtown on Friday and No. 14 Juniata on Saturday. Game times both nights are at 7:00pm.

The men fell in a quick hole in the first set against Southern Virginia (7-1/3-0 CVC) and never recovered in a 25-17 opener.

The second set was different. A kill from Hunter Taylor (Ashland, Va./Patrick Henry) gave EMU an early 4-3 lead, and then with Taylor at the service line, the Royals rattled off five unanswered points to go ahead 10-7. The score stayed tight until a quick 4-0 jab from SVU gave the visitors a 20-15 edge. Another 4-0 punch finished off the set, 25-17.

The Knights led by as many as six early in the third, but EMU wasn't ready to quit. A big block from R.J. Ocampo (Virginia Beach, Va./First Colonial) and Travis Abele (Mechanicsville, Va./Lee-Davis) nudged the Royals within two at 19-17. Kills from Abele kept the deficit at two at 20-18 and 21-19, but that was as close as they would come as SVU hit their way to a 25-21 final.

Abele led the attack with eight kills followed by five from Sean Wright (Glen Allen, Va./Deep Run). Setter Wyatt Bollinger (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) had 20 assists.

Defensively, Bollinger and Jacob Durren (Gloucester, Va./Gloucester) teamed up for three blocks. Drew Bennett (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks) played his first match as libero and led the team with six digs.

Mark Stapley and Nahuel Recabarren each had nine kills to pace SVU's attack.