EMU's volleyball women had an impressive start to the year, going 1-1 on day one of the Route 42 Classic. The Royals took apart an over-matched Delaware Valley team, before nearly upsetting a quality Meredith squad that went to the NCAA Tournament in 2018.
The women return to their home court on Saturday, taking on Bryn Mawr at noon and Salem College at 2:00pm.
EMU 3, Delaware Valley 0
The Royals started the year well, landing the first three points against Delaware Valley. Another 5-0 run triggered a big lead and the women never looked back, winning the opener 25-15.
An 11-0 explosion early in the second gave EMU momentum towards a 25-10 win. The women scored first in the third and kept on rolling to a 25-13 finish.
Hannah Johnson (Staunton, Va./Wilson Memorial) led a balanced effort with nine kills and 11 digs. Meredith Stinnette (Lynch Station, Va./Altavista) put down eight kills while Abby Sherman (Bremo Bluff, Va./Fluvanna County) had five kills in one set, as all 14 Royals got into the contest. Setter Carly Gingerich (Goshen, Ind./Goshen) had 14 assists and was one of five women to earn two service aces.
Meredith 3, EMU 2
In Friday's late game, the Royals gave Meredith all they could handle. The Avenging Angels won the USA South last fall and advanced to the NCAA Tournament with a final record of 23-5.
Set one was full of big runs before Meredith won 25-17.
EMU built a small edge early in the second before Amy Goodman (Midlothian, Va./Midlothian) had three kills in a 5-0 jab that changed the complexion of the night. The Royals used the run to build a 19-11 margin. The momentum snowballed until Goodman landed her fifth kill of the set to close a 25-15 win.
In the third, Johnson got a turkey of service aces before a pair of kills from Goodman capped a 6-0 run for a 12-4 margin. The Avenging Angels unraveled again as Eastern Mennonite kept running to another 25-15 decision.
The visitors steadied the ship in the fourth, ending on an 11-3 run to earn a fifth set, 25-13.
Finally, the teams locked up for a tight set in the fifth. Meredith had a slight 6-4 lead until Johnson unleashed two more aces in a 5-0 run, flipping EMU in front, 9-6. A block from Stinnette kept the margin at 11-9 before the Avenging Angels scored four in a row to re-take momentum, 13-11. Goodman had a kill, but the visitors finished the night with two points to win, 15-12.
Johnson led the way with 13 kills, 10 digs and five aces. Andrea Troyer (Harrisonburg, Va./Broadway) played big with 10 kills and four blocks. Stinnette added 11 kills and Goodman had 10.
Freshman Delanie Miller (Dayton, Va./Turner Ashby) looked very comfortable in the libero role with 18 digs. Tori Wigley (Elkton, Va./East Rockingham) was good both offensively with 32 set assists and defensively with 10 digs.