Royals Take Another 3-0 Win In Home Finale

Kate Kauffman (16) has averaged 5.28 digs per set while filling in for injured libero Skyler Johnson. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Kate Kauffman (16) has averaged 5.28 digs per set while filling in for injured libero Skyler Johnson. (photo by Scott Eyre)
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EMU earned their third straight sweep Thursday night in Harrisonburg, rolling over Mary Baldwin in their home finale. The volleyball women improve to 11-15 with the non-conference win and tie the 2007 team for the most wins in a season since 2001.

The Royals now turn their attention to one more goal – reaching the ODAC Tournament for the first time since 2007. Eastern Mennonite (3-7 ODAC) wraps up the regular season at Bridgewater College Friday night and can clinch a berth in the eight-team field with a win against the fourth-place Eagles (7-3 ODAC).

If they lose, EMU needs Randolph to lose to Lynchburg College to set up a four-way tie for eighth place, where they would have to hope they could advance through a lengthy set of tiebreakers. If Randolph upsets Lynchburg and EMU loses to Bridgewater, the WildCats would claim eighth place outright and eliminate the women from postseason contention.

Start time for both the EMU/Bridgewater and Randolph/Lynchburg matches are 7:00pm Friday night.

The Royals hit .279 against Mary Baldwin, their second highest team total this season. Combined with 10 service aces, the women rolled through the first two sets, 25-11 and 25-13.

With a few more subs on the floor in the third, the two teams locked in a great back-and-forth battle. EMU landed a pair of kills to break off a 21-21 tie, but the Fighting Squirrels used a pair of aces in a 3-0 run to jump ahead 24-23. The Royals had an answer, however, putting down three straight kills to close the night, 26-24.

Freshman Alex Raber (Dalton, Ohio/Central Christian) finished with eight kills with no errors on 11 attacks to lead both teams. Meredith Stinnette (Lynch Station, Va./Altavista) added six kills and Beck Hoskins (Danville, Va./Westover Christian Academy) was good for five kills and three blocks.

Each of the team's main setters played two sets and came away with similar results. Carly Gingerich (Goshen, Ind./Goshen) had 14 assists, Jasmine Johnson (Staunton, Va./Robert E. Lee) put up 13 and Tori Wigley (Elkton, Va./East Rockingham) had 11.

Kate Kauffman (Pettisville, Ohio/Pettisville) racked up 18 digs as the libero. Sam Jacob (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) hit three ace serves.

Makayla Scott had seven kills to lead Mary Baldwin. Kelley Slack added 18 digs.