In their final road matches of the year, EMU volleyball men ran into some tough competition at a tri-match in New Paltz, N.Y.
The Royals played well at times, but still came home with a pair of losses.
The men wrap up their regular season with three straight home matches, all in CVC play. EMU will look to improve their 3-5 league record when they host newcomer Randolph-Macon on Wednesday. Game time is 7:00pm in Yoder Arena and will be a Rowdy Royal Match.
St. John Fisher 3, EMU 1
The men were either hot or cold against St. John Fisher (17-9) in their opener for the day. The Cardinals scored the first three points in the first set and never looked back, rolling to a 25-15 score.
Eastern Mennonite got kills from Martin Pou (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) and R.J. Ocampo (Virginia Beach, Va./First Colonial) to start the second, however, and hit .333 for set. They opened a quick 7-2 lead and only had two one-point deficits in the set. Breaking off a 20-20 tie, Ocampo and Travis Abele (Mechanicsville, Va./Lee-Davis) hit kills as the men rolled on a 5-1 streak to win, 25-21.
The good swinging continued in the third but the Cardinals etched out a 21-15 cushion. Pou, Abele and Hunter Taylor (Ashland, Va./Patrick Henry) landed kills to start a 5-0 run, pulling EMU within one point, but St. John Fisher finished on a 3-1 spurt to win 25-22.
That landed the knockout, as the Cardinals got ahead early in the fourth and rolled, 25-12.
Taylor had a team high 13 kills and eight digs. Abele put up 12 kills, 17 assists and two blocks. Ocampo and Pou each had seven kills. Wyatt Bollinger (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) added 19 assists.
Josh Bigford led the Cardinals with 18 kills and 11 digs.
No. 9 New Paltz 3, EMU 0
The men certainly had their moments against the ranked Hawks (17-6), taking an early lead in set one and playing to a 16-16 tie. But New Paltz took over with a 6-0 run and won the opener, 25-20.
After giving up the first five points in the second, EMU recovered quickly to get within 7-6. New Paltz put the lead back up to eight before the Royals charged back, with an ace from Ocampo getting them within 23-20. But the host school had the final punch with two points to win 25-20.
The Hawks cruised in the third set, winning 25-15.
Abele led the attack with eight kills. Ocampo had four kills on five swings and Jacob Durren (Gloucester, Va./Gloucester) added three kills and two blocks. Bollinger put up 11 assists.
Taylor led a balanced back row with four digs.
Aaron Clark topped New Paltz with 11 kills.