Volleyball Men Take A Set From No. 14 Juniata

Sean Wright added six digs to his highly efficient eight kills. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Sean Wright added six digs to his highly efficient eight kills. (photo by Scott Eyre)

Playing their seventh nationally ranked opponent just 12 games into the season, EMU's young volleyball men showed improvement in a 3-1 loss at No. 14 Juniata College Saturday night. It was the first time the Royals have taken a set against one of their ranked opponents.

Eastern Mennonite (1-11/1-4 CVC) steps out of conference play next weekend when they host Mount St. Joseph and No. 12 Lancaster Bible in a tri-match on Saturday. The first match starts at noon.

In Saturday's contest against the Eagles, the first two sets had similar feels, as the home team slowly built up a margin in wins, 25-16 and 25-14.

But the Royals started quickly in the third, as a block from Jacob Durren (Gloucester, Va./Gloucester) and Martin Pou (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) put them ahead 3-0. That was the first of three blocks, helping to build a 19-12 lead. The men had the edge at eight points at 24-16, before holding off the Eagles in a 25-22 win.

The teams stayed close in the fourth until Juniata had a 4-0 run to push their lead to 17-11. EMU ended with streak with a kill from senior R.J. Ocampo (Virginia Beach, Va./First Colonial), but the damage had been done, as the Eagles flew away, 25-14.

Pou continued his rapid development with nine kills and two blocks. Sean Wright (Glen Allen, Va./Deep Run) landed eight kills with no errors on just 11 swings. Travis Abele (Mechanicsville, Va./Lee-Davis) offered up 26 assists, six kills and seven digs. Durren finished with five kills and three blocks.

Juniata's Joe Fick led all players with 18 kills and eight digs.