EMU's volleyball men earned a split in Saturday's tri-match against D-II teams, including a sweep of Alderson Broaddus. The Royals also lost a back-and-forth five setter against host King University in the matches played in Bristol, Tenn.
The men improve to 15-6 after the non-conference contests. Of their six losses this season, three were against D-II teams, including two against powerful King. The other three defeats all came at the hands of ranked D-III teams. They are 3-3 against teams in the top 15.
Eastern Mennonite returns to CVC play next weekend while also starting their final home stretch of the regular season. The Royals host Thiel Friday at 6:00pm, followed by a big match against No. 14 Juniata Saturday at noon and a non-conference match against York (NY) at 4:00pm.
King 3, EMU 2
After dropping a four-set match to King at home on Jan. 21, the Royals were ready for Round No. 2 with the Tornado, jumping to a 10-5 lead. King answered with an 8-2 run, and the team traded big momentum swings in the first set. After fending off set point seven times, the Royals got in front on a block from Dan Lutz (Greencastle, Pa./Greencastle-Antrim) and Christian Taylor (Richmond, Va./Deep Run), before finally clinching a 34-32 win on a William Ragland (North Chesterfield, Va./Thomas Dale) service ace.
King used a big run late in set two to forge a 25-20 decision, but the Royals used a 6-0 run to close set three in a 25-22 win. The Tornado used a couple of big runs to even things out with a 25-19 win in the fourth.
EMU scored the first two in the fifth set before King answered with a 9-3 run to flip in front, 9-5. The men got the next two, getting within 9-7, but they would get no closer as the Tornado won the day, 15-12.
Josh Elmore (Chester, Va./Matoaca) had 22 kills and 14 digs. Lutz had 11 kills and a .526 attack percentage, adding seven blocks on the defensive side. Ragland had 16 kills and 14 digs. Tim Callahan (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) had 10 kills. Taylor put up 62 set assists.
Libero Micah Buller (Richmond, Va./Douglass Freeman) led all players with 22 digs.
Jeff Sprayberry led King with 27 kills.
EMU 3, Alderson Broaddus 0
The Royals returned to the court and methodically took apart Alderson Broaddus for a sweep. In each set, the men picked up steam as they went along, picking up wins of 25-16, 25-16 and 25-17.
EMU had a balanced offensive attack in hitting .357 as a team. It was their third-highest mark of the season.
Elmore had nine kills, 12 digs and three blocks. Lutz and Scott Brigham (Montpelier, Va./Patrick Henry) each had six kills. Taylor had 32 assists. Buller again led the back row with 14 digs.
Obenda Besongngem led Alderson Broaddus with ten kills and eight digs.