The Royals finished strong but it was too late in a key 3-1 loss to Elizabethtown in CVC action Friday night in Harrisonburg.
Eastern Mennonite falls to 3-5 overall and 1-2 in the Continental Volleyball Conference, while E-town bumps to 11-8 and 2-3 in the CVC. The Royals return to Yoder Arena Saturday afternoon, hosting nationally ranked Juniata at 1:00pm.
EMU's volleyball men struggled to get their offense in gear over the first two sets and dropped 25-19 and 25-16 losses to the Blue Jays.
By the third, the Royals were starting to figure things out. They jumped to a quick 6-2 lead and then used a 7-1 run to bump to a 13-7 margin. E-town would fight back to within two points, but no closer, before Ben Childers (Chesterfield, Va./Matoaca) landed a kill to close out the set, 25-21.
Eastern Mennonite's offense looked about as good as it has all year in the fourth, hitting .333 with 17 kills. But the Blue Jays were just as good, setting up a fantastic back-and-forth. The Royals held a tight 12-11 lead before E-town quietly scored six straight to take control. The men got within 19-16 after an ace, but they couldn't put together another string of points before the night ended in a 25-20 score.
Elizabethtown finished with a .155 attack percentage compared to .070 for EMU. The Royals also made seven more service errors.
Jacob Durren (Gloucester, Va./Gloucester) landed a season high 11 kills as he hit .500 for the second straight match. The 6-7 middle also led all players with four blocks. Josh White (Chesapeake, Va./Bishop Sullivan) added seven kills on just 15 swings. Martin Pou (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) had three blocks.
Wyatt Bollinger (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) put up 31 set assists. Libero Andrew Livioco (Mount Airy, Md./Linganore) had a match high 12 digs and 48 good serve receptions. Drew Bennett (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks) added nine digs.
Blake Hildebrand led Elizabethtown with 11 kills while Nick Baxter had 10 kills and three service aces.