Royals Serve Past Mary Baldwin For 7-2 Start

Sarah East set career highs with six kills and six aces. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Sarah East set career highs with six kills and six aces. (photo by Scott Eyre)

Led by 14 service aces, the Eastern Mennonite University volleyball women rolled over Mary Baldwin Thursday night by a final of 3-1.

Now 7-2 on the year, EMU is off to their best start this millennium.

Even with tougher matches on the horizon, the Royals are playing with a confidence that should serve them well as they look to return to the ODAC Tournament for just the second time since 2007.

Visiting Mary Baldwin put up a solid fight from the opening serve, scoring the first two points. But with freshman Sarah East (Washington, Va./Rappahannock County) at the service line, Eastern Mennonite rattled off an 8-0 run to grab control at 16-6. The points kept rolling to a 25-10 finish.

MBU got an early edge in the second as well and still led 16-15. But a 6-0 jab from the Royals turned the tables and Meredith Stinnette (Lynch Station, Va./Altavista) landed kills for the women's final two points in a 25-19 win.

In the third, the Fighting Squirrels again scored first but this time kept the edge. A 7-0 run blew open a 20-10 margin which still held at 24-17. EMU was not done, however, rattling off seven unanswered points to surprisingly tie up the score at 24-24 on an ace from East. But as quickly as the tide had turned, it turned again, with Mary Baldwin getting two quick points to prevail, 26-24.

Set four was tight until East dropped in back-to-back-to-back aces during a 6-0 run, making for a 13-8 lead. The Royals didn't give up the edge, finally ending the night on a big swing from Abby Sherman (Bremo Bluff, Va./Fluvanna County) for a 25-16 final.

The women hit .243 as a team in the win and impressively had 14 aces against just six service errors. East dropped in six of the aces, a high for any EMU player this year.

Hannah Johnson (Staunton, Va./Wilson Memorial) led the offense with 10 kills but blew by her career high in digs with 25. Andrea Troyer (Harrisonburg, Va./Broadway) landed eight kills on just 13 swings and Stinnette also had eight kills. Abbi Hawkins (Middlebury, Ind./Bethany Christian) led the setting corps with 22 assists.

Rachel Christian led Mary Baldwin with 12 kills and 12 digs.

The Royals have nearly a week off before their next match, hosting ODAC opponent Virginia Wesleyan next Wednesday.