Volleyball Men Dropped By Two Top-5 Teams

Hunter Taylor (13) and R.J. Ocampo (10) helped EMU's defensive net presence. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Hunter Taylor (13) and R.J. Ocampo (10) helped EMU's defensive net presence. (photo by Scott Eyre)

EMU's volleyball men made final preparations for the Continental Volleyball Conference schedule, hosting two top-5 opponents on Saturday. The Royals dropped both, but after completing five of their seven early season matches against nationally ranked teams, the men are ready for their CVC road swing next weekend.

Eastern Mennonite opens conference play on Friday with a 7:00pm game at Ramapo (1-4). Then on Saturday, the Royals play at Immaculata (0-3), a program in its first year of existence.

No. 5 Stevenson 3, EMU 0
The Royals stayed on the Mustangs (10-2) early, trailing just 16-13. But a 7-0 run for SU changed the flow and turned into a 25-14 opener. The second and third sets followed the same pattern, with EMU hanging tough until midway through. Stevenson took 25-12 and 25-18 wins to close out the contest.

Hunter Taylor (Ashland, Va./Patrick Henry) racked up eight kills to pace the offense. Travis Abele (Mechanicsville, Va./Lee-Davis) had team highs with 10 digs and nine assists.

R.J. Ocampo (Virginia Beach, Va./First Colonial) got in on three blocks.

Landon Shorts led Stevenson with nine kills and three aces. Former Royal Christian Taylor, who graduated from EMU in December and is attending SU for graduate school, added 23 assists, seven digs and five blocks.

No 2. Stevens 3, EMU 0
After Stevens (5-1) toppled Stevenson in the neutral-site contest of the day's tri-match, the Ducks took apart EMU. Scores were 25-14, 25-18 and 25-15.

Hunter Taylor had five kills while Abele had four kills, ten assists and six digs. Martin Pou (Harrisonburg, Va./eastern Mennonite) had a dominant stretch late, landing four kills on just five swings.

Defensively, Angelo Olayvar (Richmond, Va./Our Lady of Peace) picked up eight digs. Jacob Durren (Gloucester, Va./Gloucester) had three blocks.

Kyle Warnock and Jack Fyda each had nine kills to lead Stevens.

Career Lists
Seniors R.J. Ocampo and Travis Abele each made a move on an EMU Top-15 list during the tri-match.

Ocampo entered tied with Kyle Storc at No. 5 in the Career Blocks list at 256. Ocampo had four blocks on the day to take over sole possession of the spot.

Abele moved into the Career Digs list with 462 digs, surpassing John Barry's 456 to enter at No. 15. Abele still has a chance to crack the top-15 in career kills and blocks by the end of the season.