Serving Key In 3-1 Loss To St. Mary's

Carly Gingerich leads EMU with 11 aces through five matches. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Carly Gingerich leads EMU with 11 aces through five matches. (photo by Scott Eyre)

For a set and a half, the Royals had their swag. But some tough serving midway through the second set changed the momentum of the game, as the EMU volleyball women suffered a 3-1 loss to St. Mary's at home Wednesday night.

The Royals slide to 3-2 as they prepare to wrap up their season-opening homestand with a tri-match this Saturday. Eastern Mennonite welcomes in Hood and Lancaster Bible, with play starting Saturday at 11:00am.

The Royals got all that they expected from their regular non-conference back-and-forth battle with St. Mary's. Serving made the difference in the opener, as Sarah East (Washington, Va./Rappahannock County) had back-to-back aces during a 5-0 run which flipped the Royals ahead, 22-18. Tori Wigley (Elkton, Va./East Rockingham) then finished off a 25-19 win with her team's fourth ace.

The going looked good in the second, as EMU raced to a 20-13 lead. But the Seahawks unleashed four aces during a deflating 8-0 run to take over the lead. The women had their visitors tied up at 21-21 and 22-22, but SMC landed three straight points to win, 25-22.

It seemed like the Royals had regrouped in the third by jumping to a 14-7 advantage but St. Mary's quickly closed the gap and tied the score at 17-17. EMU still held the lead at 22-20, but they couldn't close the door. The Seahawks did, winning 25-23 on back-to-back aces.

SMC etched an early 6-3 lead in the fourth, and never gave it up. They led by as many as six en route to a 25-20 closer.

Hannah Johnson (Staunton, Va./Wilson Memorial) was EMU's only consistent offensive weapon, hitting 13 kills. She also had a match best 17 digs.  Meredith Stinnette (Lynch Station, Va./Altavista) had eight kills while Amy Goodman (Midlothian, Va./Midlothian) added seven.

Carly Gingerich (Goshen, Ind./Goshen) and Wigley combined for 31 set assists and six service aces.

Chanel Lucas led St. Mary's with 17 kills.