Volleyball Women Split At Blue Jay Classic

Kara Smith had a season-high five kills against Rowan. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Kara Smith had a season-high five kills against Rowan. (photo by Scott Eyre)

The Eastern Mennonite University volleyball women earned a split on Saturday to wrap up play the Blue Jay Classic in Elizabethtown, Pa.

EMU (3-7) broke a short losing skid with a sweep of Cairn to start the day before coming up two points short in each set of a 3-0 setback to Rowan.

EMU 3, Cairn 0
The Royals scored the first five points in Saturday's opener and never looked back. A 6-0 run midway through the set kept things rolling to a 25-9 win.

A 5-0 run in the second gave EMU some space before another 6-0 spurt erased all doubt in a 25-15 score.

The Highlanders earned their first lead of the match by jumping to a 7-3 cushion in the third. But Maria Yoder (Manheim, Pa./Hempfield) dropped in a pair of aces during a momentum-changing 9-0 run, as EMU took over at 12-7. Candice Shaheen Scottsville, Va./Fluvanna County) landed four aces during an 8-0 run as the Royals rolled to a 25-12 final.

Eastern Mennonite racked up 16 ace serves in the sweep and hit .373 in the attack, their highest team total since hitting .422 in a sweep of Randolph in 2009.

Meredith Stinnette (Lynch Station, Va./Altavista) led the balanced effort with eight kills and seven digs. Yoder had seven kills, three aces and two blocks while Erin Brubaker (Goessel, Kan./Goessel) had seven kills on just 10 swings. Andrea Troyer (Harrisonburg, Va./Broadway) racked up five kills on seven attacks for a .714 attack clip. Carly Gingerich (Goshen, Ind./Goshen) lofted 20 assists.

Shaheen finished with five service aces and six digs. Fellow freshman Tarynn Clark (Goshen, Ind./Bethany Christian) landed three aces in just one set of action.

Rowan 3, EMU 0
The finale against Rowan left things on a sour note, as EMU played well but could not come up with a finishing point.

Set scores were 25-23, 25-23 and 33-31.

Amy Goodman (Midlothian, Va./Midlothian) had nine kills to lead the Royals, while Yoder was right behind with eight kills. Gingerich had 19 assists with Tori Wigley (Elkton, Va./East Rockingham) adding 11.

Shaheen dropped another four service aces while racking up 16 digs. Ginny Sorrell (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) had 13 digs.

All-Tournament Team
Senior Maria Yoder was named to the Blue Jay Classic All-Tournament Team following play. The middle hitter averaged 2.5 kills per set over the Royals' three matches, adding six blocks and seven aces.

EMU heads back into ODAC play on Wednesday, continuing against another upper echelon team in Randolph-Macon. The Yellow Jackets have won the last three ODAC Championships. The Royals are 0-1 in conference play after a road loss to Virginia Wesleyan, which was picked third in the preseason poll. Start time against R-MC Wednesday in Harrisonburg is at 7:00pm.