Eastern Mennonite opened its 2011 women's volleyball season by hosting the two-day Hampton Inn & Sleep Inn Invitational. The Lady Royals started their play with a 3-1 win over Salem College in an early match.
Aside from opposing big runs in the middle of game one, the opening frame was close the entire way. EMU broke off a 24-24 tie with two quick points to sneak out a 26-24 win.
The women used a pair of streaks in game two to surge to a 16-12 lead. But the Spirit answered with a run of their own and scored the final three for a 25-22 win.
Tough serving set the tone in the third game, as three straight aces from freshman Kyla Moorefield (Danville, VA/Tunstall) pushed EMU ahead 8-2. Salem never got closer than five points as the Lady Royals ran away with a 25-14 score.
But game four was another back-and-forth tilt with the teams tied late at 22-22. Kills from Moorefield and fellow rookie Sara Ritchie (Harrisonburg, VA/Turner Ashby) clinched the match with a 25-23 win.
Serving was a big key for the women, as they landed 15 service aces compared to none for Salem. Moorefield finished with seven aces in her first collegiate contest along with 11 kills.
Ritchie led all players with 20 kills and added 15 digs. Senior Tabitha Bowman (Waynesboro, VA/Stuarts Draft) had 15 kills.
Now 1-0, Eastern Mennonite plays Philadelphia Biblical later tonight.