EMU's volleyball women split a tri-match at Penn State-Harrisburg on Sunday, finishing with a solid four-set win over the hosts.
Now 8-4 and less than halfway into their 2019 schedule, the Royals have already equaled last year's win total. Eastern Mennonite hits ODAC play in earnest this week, starting at Randolph-Macon on Tuesday. The women also play a tri-match against Lynchburg and Roanoke next Saturday.
Gallaudet 3, EMU 1
A day of lineup tweaking started against the Bison, with a 25-18 loss in the opener.
Setter Abbi Hawkins (Middlebury, Ind./Bethany Christian) stepped on to the court for the second set and started things out with a service ace. The teams traded big runs late, with GU pushing ahead 19-13 before the Royals tied it up at 19-19. But Gallaudet finished off with 6-0 streak to win 25-19.
Eastern Mennonite vaulted to a 6-1 lead in the third, and led by as many as 10 to stay alive, 25-16.
The women looked on their way towards earning a fifth set by skipping to a 14-9 lead in the fourth. But Gallaudet thundered ahead with a 9-0 run, and rolled on to a 25-17 clincher.
The Royals struggled to get their offense in gear, hitting a season low .024. Hannah Johnson (Staunton, Va./Wilson Memorial) provided 13 kills and 12 digs. Andrea Troyer (Harrisonburg, Va./Broadway) landed eight kills and Hawkins topped the setting crew with 12 assists. She also had three aces.
Delanie Miller (Dayton, Va./Turner Ashby) had a team high 13 digs.
EMU 3, Penn State-Harrisburg 1
After the disappointing loss, the Royals fell in a quick 7-1 hole to hosts. But a 7-1 run of their own tied the score at 8-8. Each team had sizeable runs and each team served for set point before Eastern Mennonite had the last spurt with three straight to win 28-26.
The women led by as many as six in the second set before winning, 25-23.
EMU had the only three-point lead of the third set but Penn State-Harrisburg snuck ahead at the end and stayed alive, 26-24.
The fourth set was full of short runs with each team holding a four-point lead. The Lions' came at 18-14, but EMU answered with a 6-1 streak. A 3-0 jab kept the Royals ahead before they finally finished off a 27-25 win with a kill from Johnson and block from Troyer.
Hawkins played all four sets and had 19 assists and four aces. Tori Wigley (Elkton, Va./East Rockingham) added 16 assists.
Johnson landed another 13 kills with 10 digs. Kara Durren (Hayes, Va./Gloucester) and Amy Goodman (Midlothian, Va./Midlothian) added great support, with each putting down 10 kills and hitting .300 or better.