Matched up with a young but powerful Randolph team, Eastern Mennonite's volleyball women dug in for an exciting match Friday night in Harrisonburg. The women played well at times, forcing their visitors to four games before falling.
The Lady Royals scored the first three points in game one and, led by some big swings from Kyla Moorefield (Danville, VA/Tunstall), had advantages of 14-6 and 18-12. But Randolph controlled the closing points, finishing on a 13-3 tear to win 25-21.
Game two was the wildest of the night, featuring numerous ties and lead changes. EMU had a late 22-20 lead, only to see the WildCats serve for game point at 24-23. The women fended off game point twice before surging ahead 26-25. The visitors then held off two game points before kills from Sara Ritchie (Harrisonburg, VA/Turner Ashby) and setter Mattie Lehman (New Paris, IN/Bethany Christian) gave the Lady Royals a 29-27 win.
In a battle for momentum, the teams traded leads early in game three. But Randolph broke off an 8-8 tie with a 13-3 run to take control and eventually win 25-17.
The WildCats used another big run in game four to blow open a 22-11 edge. Eastern Mennonite rattled off a 6-0 streak to make things interesting before falling 25-18.
Ritchie led EMU with 13 kills and added 10 digs and a pair of service aces. Lehman was an all-around threat with 31 assists, 13 digs and five kills of her own.
Tabitha Bowman (Waynesboro, VA/Stuarts Draft) had nine kills while Moorefield finished with eight.
Rachel Lehman (Chambersburg, PA/Shalom Christian Academy) had a match high four aces.
The loss drops EMU to 3-8 overall and 0-2 in ODAC play. The women have a quick turnaround, hosting Lynchburg Saturday afternoon at 4:00pm.