Despite a solid 5-2 start to the season, none of that mattered Tuesday night when the EMU volleyball women played their ODAC opener. The contest was at Hollins, another difference from the season-opening home stand.
After dropping the first set to the upstart Hollins crew, the Royals regrouped and won three straight to earn the come-from-behind road win. It was the first time EMU won their initial ODAC match since 2013, when they started 2-0.
Against Hollins (6-4), Eastern Mennonite fell in a quick hole as the home team jumped ahead 10-4. The women used a 6-1 run to get back within one at 13-12, but Hollins scored the next five points. Momentum swung back again, however, as the Royals had the score tied at 19-19, 20-20 and 22-22, but they could never get in front, as Hollins held on, 25-23.
Despite the loss in the opening set, the Royals started hot in the second, scoring first and jumping to a 6-1 lead. The lead never got below two points and EMU won going away, 25-14.
The swing set proved as exciting and pivotal as possible with the teams trading 3-0 runs to open. The lead went back-and-forth as neither led by more than two points until the Royals used a 3-0 jab to get ahead 21-17. Hollins fought right back, tying the score at 23-23 and again at 24-24. But EMU got the next two points to seal the key win, 26-24.
That spelled the end, as the women scored the first two points in the fourth and never trailed in a 25-13 finale.
Even though the teams came in as two of the best serving squads in the ODAC, the difference was on the offensive side of the net where EMU simply out-hit Hollins, .188 to .070. The two combined for just 10 service aces, including a season-low four for the Royals.
Hannah Johnson (Staunton, Va./Wilson Memorial) fired her way to a match high 13 kills along with 18 digs. Amy Goodman (Midlothian, Va./Midlothian) shot nine kills with a .333 attack percentage and two solo blocks, while Andrea Troyer (Harrisonburg, Va./Broadway) also had nine kills with four blocks.
Tarynn Clark (Goshen, Ind./Bethany Christian) added 13 digs.
Hannah Arthur led Hollins with 11 kills.
Eastern Mennonite returns home for their next two matches, including non-conference opponent Mary Baldwin Thursday night at 7:00pm. Virginia Wesleyan then visits next Wednesday as EMU plays nine of their first ten matches in Yoder Arena.