Royals Sweep Dolphins But Take Tough CVC Loss

Tim Callahan has averaged at least 2.06 kills per set in each of his four seasons. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Tim Callahan has averaged at least 2.06 kills per set in each of his four seasons. (photo by Scott Eyre)

EMU's volleyball men continued their road swing with a tri-match at Rutgers-Newark on Saturday. Even with a solid non-conference sweep of Mount Saint Vincent, the Royals head came home with a pair of CVC loss, including a five-setter to Rutgers-Newark. They also lost at No. 8 Marymount on Friday.

Eastern Mennonite is now 19-10 on the season and 8-4 in the CVC. The 19 wins ties the 2002 and 2006 teams for third-most wins in program history. The Royals earned 22 wins in both 2007 and 2017.

More importantly, EMU is clinging to a two-way tie for second in the CVC West, matched with Juniata at 8-4. Southern Virginia is dangerously close at 6-4. Only the top three teams from the division make the CVC Tournament, meaning only two of those three teams expect to join West-leading Marymount in the six-team field.

The Royals have a nearly two-week break before playing their final CVC match at No. 4 Kean on Friday, April 6. The regular season wraps up that weekend.

Rutgers-Newark 3, EMU 2
The five-set CVC match against the Scarlet Raiders was about as close as possible, with the teams swapping matching scores through the first four sets.

Eastern Mennonite used a key 4-0 run late in the first to grab momentum in a 25-23 win. Rutgers-Newark ended on a 3-1 spurt to win the second, 25-23.

The Scarlet Raiders got ahead by winning the third, 25-22, scoring the final four points. But the men used a big 9-4 swing midway through the fourth to earn the fifth set, 25-22.

In the fifth, the Royals made three straight errors to let Rutgers-Newark break off an 8-8 tie and they could not recover. They got within two points twice before the home team scored two in a row to close things out, 15-11.

EMU out-hit the Scarlet Raiders, .227 to .187, but also committed 10 more service errors.

William Ragland (North Chesterfield, Va./Thomas Dale) put down a season-high 21 kills, hitting at a .350 clip from his outside position. The senior also racked up 18 digs, a new career high. Middle Dan Lutz (Greencastle, Pa./Greencastle-Antrim) also set a career high, notching 16 kills. He keyed EMU's net defense with six blocks, including two solo.

Tim Callahan (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) added 15 kills. Setter Christian Taylor (Richmond, Va./Deep Run) put up a season-best 58 assists.

R.J. Ocampo (Virginia Beach, Va./First Colonial) had eight kills and four blocks. Libero Micah Buller (Richmond, Va./Douglas Freeman) had 17 digs.

Corey Pieper led Rutgers-Newark with 23 kills, 15 digs and three blocks.

EMU 3, Mount Saint Vincent 0
The Royals worked a few more players onto the court in the non-conference match against Mount Saint Vincent. They pushed ahead early in the opener and finished strong in a 25-19 win.

After giving up the first three points in the second, EMU took over for a 25-17 win.

The Dolphins started on a surprising 10-1 streak in the third before the men steadied the ship. A Ragland kill finally tied the score at 21-21. Each team had a shot at set point before Callahan and Ragland landed back-to-back kills to finish off the win, 28-26.

Ragland hit kills on over half of his swings, leading both teams with 15. Callahan was good for nine kills and nine digs. Back-up setter Wyatt Bollinger (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) had 21 assists in two sets, while Taylor had 14 in his one set.

Ocampo led all players with four blocks and Sean Wright (Glen Allen, Va./Deep Run) added three.

Colton Frey (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) picked up eight digs, while Buller had seven.

Jose Estrella led the Dolphins with 10 kills.

Career Kills Leader
Senior Tim Callahan earned a combined 24 kills on the day, putting him No. 1 in program history for career kills in the modern rally-scoring era. Callahan has racked up 883 career kills, overtaking Justin Reesor's mark of 867. He is No. 5 all-time at Eastern Mennonite, only behind the four men with 1000+ kills from the era of side-out scoring. Brandon Ratliff is the all-time leader at 1150.