The Royals never backed down against powerful Bridgewater Wednesday night in Yoder Arena. In the end, however, the Eagles simply had too much firepower in pushing past the Eastern Mennonite volleyball women, 3-0.
After six straight ODAC matches, EMU (9-9/2-6 ODAC) steps out of the conference tomorrow for a match at Southern Virginia.
Against a Bridgewater team which was receiving votes in the national poll, the Royals fell in an early hole in the first set, trailing by as many as 11. They recovered with a 6-1 run but would get no closer in a 25-18 loss.
Set two had wild momentum swings. After Eastern Mennonite scored the first two points, BC answered with a 12-0 run to take control. Led by a kill and two blocks from Andrea Troyer (Harrisonburg, Va./Broadway), the women scored five straight to start the comeback. After another short run, the Royals were within 23-21, capping a 14-2 streak. But untimely mistakes stemmed the tide, giving Bridgewater the final two points to escape, 25-21.
The Eagles again built a little cushion in the third, and this time held it to the finish, 25-16.
Led by 2018 ODAC Player of the Year Rachel Gaston, Bridgewater (18-1/7-0 ODAC) out-hit the Royals, .292 to .117. Gaston had a match high 16 kills.
Amy Goodman (Midlothian, Va./Midlothian) had eight kills and Hannah Johnson (Staunton, Va./Wilson Memorial) added seven, but each player had as many errors as kills. Troyer was efficient on both sides of the net with a season high six blocks along with six kills. Kara Durren (Gloucester, Va./Gloucester) had four kills on just eight swings.