The momentum from last year's trip to the ODAC Tournament seemed to carry over into Friday's season opener, where EMU's volleyball women took an impressive 3-1 win from Salem College.
Salem had earlier beaten ODAC-rival Lynchburg at the two-day Route 42 Classic. Play wraps up on Saturday, with Eastern Mennonite taking on Delaware Valley at 10:00am and Marymount at 2:00pm.
Facing a Salem squad that featured good overall height, the Royals hustled their way to wins in each of the first two sets. Both were close, however.
Sophomore Amy Goodman (Midlothian, Va./Midlothian) had four kills during a key 6-1 run late in set one, pushing the women to a 25-23 win. They fought off three set points in the second, before a service ace from Hannah Johnson (Staunton, Va./Wilson Memorial) clinched a 28-26 score.
The third set snowballed out of control in a 25-14 loss, but starting the fourth with 4-0 streak fixed that. The teams traded runs in the fourth, with EMU's late 5-0 push building an insurmountable 21-14 lead. Johnson closed her first collegiate game with the final point, landing the kill for a 25-16 win.
The Royals used high pressure serving to keep Salem from utilizing their height advantage. EMU racked up 10 aces compared to just one for the Spirits.
Johnson had 12 kills, 20 digs and four aces to lead the way. Goodman tied her career high with 12 kills and Beck Hoskins (Danville, Va./Westover Christian Academy) added 10 out of the middle. Setter Carly Gingerich (Goshen, Ind./Goshen) had 21 assists and three aces, while Tori Wigley (Elkton, Va./East Rockingham) added 19 assists.