EMU's volleyball women wrapped up their season-opening homestand with a gritty four-set loss to Gallaudet University Wednesday night in Harrisonburg. The talented Bison lost in the North Eastern Athletic Conference Championship last fall.
After a tough first set, the Royals hung with GU over the final three sets before slipping to 2-2 on the year.
The women play their next six matches away from Yoder Arena, starting with this Saturday's tri-match at St. Mary's (Md.). They get the host Seahawks at noon, followed by McDaniel at 2:00pm.
Serve receive was a quick issue for EMU in the first set, where they were touched up for five aces and lost 25-18.
The Royals settled down in the second set and danced back-and-forth with Gallaudet. The biggest lead for either team was two points, and EMU had the score locked at 23-23 after kills from Erin Brubaker (Goessel, Kan./Goessel) and Hannah Johnson (Staunton, Va./Wilson Memorial). The Bison returned fire with two quick kills from Adele Daniels to grab a 25-23 decision.
Needing a win, Eastern Mennonite scored the first three points of the third set and never trailed. Gallaudet forged five different ties before the Royals broke off a 15-15 deadlock with another 3-0 run. Amy Goodman (Midlothian, Va./Midlothian) landed the final kill in a 25-22 win.
After falling in an early hole in the fourth, the Royals recovered and eventually used a 4-0 run to grab a 15-11 lead. Maria Yoder (Manheim, Pa./Hempfield) accounted for three of the points in the run with two aces and a kill. The Bison snuck back in front, however, and worked their lead to 23-20. EMU nearly grabbed momentum back with back-to-back points, but a GU timeout stemmed the tide as the visitors scored two straight to close out a 25-22 tally.
The women served well, landing 11 aces against just eight service errors. GU finished with 12 aces and 14 errors.
Goodman led the way with nine kills and four aces, while Yoder came in with seven kills, four aces and two blocks. Johnson had eight kills, three aces and a team high 20 digs. Brubaker balanced out the attack with seven kills and a couple of blocks.
Setters Carly Gingerich (Goshen, Ind./Goshen) and Tori Wigley (Elkton, Va./East Rockingham) had 17 and 12 assists, respectively. Ginny Sorrell (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) played libero for the first time this season and had 12 digs.
Daniels led Gallaudet with 22 kills, five aces and three blocks.