EMU's volleyball women proved they can play with the best in the ODAC Wednesday night, but they also proved they have another step to make in their climb up the league's ladder.
The Royals served for set point in the second set against three-time defending ODAC champion Randolph-Macon, but they couldn't close it out. The visiting Yellow Jackets rolled from there, taking a 3-0 decision from the women.
EMU falls to 3-8 with the loss including 0-2 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. R-MC improves to 6-5 and 2-0.
The women step out of conference play Friday night, playing at Hood College in Frederick, Md., before enjoying a rare Saturday off. Emory & Henry then visits Harrisonburg next Wednesday in a big ODAC match.
The Royals took an early lead in the first set and went back-and-forth with Randolph-Macon. The visitors used a late 6-1 run to grab some space, however, earning a 25-18 win.
EMU was undeterred in the second and rattled off three straight to break a 9-9 tie. They led by as many as four points at 19-15 before the Yellow Jackets came back and tied it at 22-22. Maria Yoder (Manheim, Pa./Hempfield) landed a kill to keep the Royals in front, and they served for match point after a kill from Hannah Johnson (Staunton, Va./Wilson Memorial). But they couldn't find one more point as the visitors squeaked in three in a row to steal a 26-24 decision.
The momentum turned into a 7-0 run for R-MC in the third, building a 10-2 advantage. The Royals regrouped but could not put together more than two straight points before the Yellow Jackets scored the final four to close it out, 25-15.
Johnson led EMU with 10 kills and a pair of blocks. She teamed with Beck Hoskins (Danville, Va./Westover Christian Academy) on both of the stuffs. Yoder added six kills. Setter Carly Gingerich (Goshen, Ind./Goshen) had 18 assists, six digs and all three of the Royals' ace serves.
Libero Candice Shaheen (Scottsville, Va./Fluvanna County) led all players with 19 digs.
Alexia Wolfe had 13 kills and 10 digs for Randolph-Macon while Miranda Hall added 12 kills and 11 digs.