The EMU volleyball women wrapped up the 2019 season with a close loss to Marymount University on Saturday. Despite the decision, the Royals (13-13) finished with the most wins of any Eastern Mennonite team since 2001, and also claimed the first .500 season since 2001.
Even with the loss of four seniors, the Royals' program is on the rise. After six straight single-win seasons from 2010-15, this is the third time in four seasons EMU has eclipsed 10 wins.
Playing the season finale at nearby Bridgewater College, the women fell in a quick hole by giving up the first six points to Marymount. They were never able to recover in a 25-12 loss.
But the momentum changed quickly in the second set, where Eastern Mennonite scored the first point and never trailed. The Royals used a 5-1 run to break off an 11-11 tie before Sarah East (Washington, Va./Rappahannock County) landed a pair of aces during a big set-ending streak to win 25-17.
The third set was back-and-forth. A 5-1 run gave EMU a late 21-20 edge, but the Saints slipped back in front with two in a row. The Royals forged ties at 22-22 and 23-23 but Marymount dropped in two straight to sneak out, 25-23.
The Saints scored the first four in the fourth set and, despite a handful of runs, the women couldn't get closer than five late, eventually closing on the 25-19 loss.
Hannah Johnson (Staunton, Va./Wilson Memorial) led all players with 15 kills, adding 11 digs for her 16th double double of the season. She crossed 500 kills for her career with the effort, finishing her first two years at EMU with 510 career kills.
Meredith Stinnette (Altavista, Va./Altavista) also broke 500 career kills in the match, hammering nine to close her career with 508 kills. The senior had a career best 166 kills in her final campaign.
Libero Delanie Miller (Dayton, Va./Turner Ashby) racked up 27 digs for her highest total for a four-set match. The freshman had 29 in a five-setter against Guilford two weeks earlier. East, Johnson and Tarynn Clark (Goshen, Ind./Bethany Christian) each had two aces.
Mykael Johnson had 14 kills and 10 digs to lead Marymount.