A long weekend came to a close Sunday, as EMU's volleyball men ran their winning streak to six straight with a pair of victories at the Knight Classic, hosted by Arcadia University in Glenside, Pa.
The Royals (11-3/4-1 CVC) won five matches, including two conference contests, on their trip to Pennsylvania. They have a few days to recover before three home matches this weekend, all against nationally ranked opponents. Eastern Mennonite hosts #8 Juniata and #4 UC Santa Cruz Friday at 4:00pm and 8:00pm, respectively. Saturday morning, the men get one more CVC match against #5 Marymount.
Santa Cruz's Banana Slugs also play Juniata at 6:00pm on Friday and Marymount at 1:00pm on Saturday. All of the matches are free and played in Yoder Arena.
EMU 3, SUNY Poly 0
Playing on their third straight day, EMU's men had a slow start, trailing by as many as seven at 17-10. Still down 22-17, a short 3-0 run started a dramatic comeback. Down 24-21, the Royals took advantage of three straight SUNY Poly errors to tie it up at 24-24.
The teams went back-and-forth, each getting at least two more shots at set point. Finally, back-to-back kills from William Ragland completed a thrilling 32-30 win for the Royals, with the final tally being their only two-point lead in the set.
The momentum carried from there, including a 6-2 start to the second. Eastern Mennonite never trailed in the set, winning 25-16.
The Wildcats had an early lead in the third before a 4-0 jab pushed EMU in front, 7-4. They led by as many as six en route to a 25-21 clincher.
It was EMU's fifth straight 3-0 sweep.
Donovan Suguitan had 10 kills but also 10 attack errors for SUNY Poly.
EMU 3, Arcadia 1
Led by a pair of aces from Ragland, the Royals jumped to a quick 3-0 lead against the host school. The Knights would earn a pair of ties, but could never get in front. Ragland landed two more aces in EMU's 8-3 run to a 25-18 finish.
Arcadia scored the first points in the second set and returned the favor. The Royals fought within one point numerous times, but could never get enough of a run going to tie it, let alone get in front. The Knights scored the final three to even up the match, 25-20.
Set three was full of runs, but Eastern Mennonite's 6-1 streak midway through made the difference. They led by as many as nine in a 25-18 win.
An early 4-0 run gave EMU the lead in the fourth. The men finished on a 9-2 rally, closing their road trip with a 25-14 victory.
Callahan was again the top swinger, hitting for 13 kills on just 20 swings for a .450 clip. Ragland added 12 kills. Taylor made 35 assists.
Lutz and R.J. Ocampo each put down four blocks.
Buller picked up 13 digs, whereas Arcadia only had 22 as an entire team.
Edwin Waters, Jr., led the Knights with eight kills.
Taylor's setting boosted the attack to hit .264 and .275 in their two wins. He racked up 65 assists over seven sets of play, averaging 9.29 assists per set.
Lutz put down 15 kills on 33 attacks out of the middle, making just three attack errors. Defensively, he also made nine blocks, averaging 1.29 per set.