The Royals nearly pulled off a major women's volleyball upset Saturday on a neutral court, eventually dropping a 3-2 decision to Guilford College.
Despite proving they could play with one of the top teams in the ODAC, the EMU women missed out on a chance to steal a conference win and put themselves in the driver's seat for a spot in the ODAC Tournament.
With the loss, the Royals (11-11 overall) sit at 4-7 in the ODAC and percentage points behind Emory & Henry's 3-5. The eighth-place Wasps, who also hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over EMU, host Shenandoah and Lynchburg on Sunday.
After Friday's wild comeback win over host Randolph, the Royals locked up with Guilford early Saturday afternoon. The Quakers (15-7/7-3 ODAC) had handed Bridgewater just their second conference loss the night before.
The Eastern Mennonite women didn't back down, using a 5-0 run midway through the first to take a 14-10 lead. The teams traded runs and leads before the Royals used a 3-0 jab to draw a 23-23 tie. They also locked up at 24-24 before Guilford got back-to-back kills to win the opener, 26-24.
The Quakers got an early lead in the second and made it stick in a 25-17 decision.
Even with a 2-0 hole, EMU wouldn't give up. They held the lead much of the third set before scoring twice to break off a 19-19 tie. GC got within one point twice before three straight points clinched a 25-21 win.
The Royals made a few short runs early in the fourth to take control. They trailed only after giving up the first point to the Quakers, and won 25-20 to force the fifth set.
Guilford took a quick 4-1 lead before EMU scored three straight to tie it. GC came right back with their own 3-0 jab and then ballooned the lead to 14-8. The Royals scored four unanswered points to get close before the Quakers got their final point at 15-12.
Meredith Stinnette (Altavista, Va./Altavista) and Andrea Troyer (Harrisonburg, Va./Broadway) made huge impacts on play. Stinnette broke her career high with 17 kills and a .385 attack percentage. Troyer landed seven kills, but made her presence felt defensively by tying her career high with seven blocks, including five solo stuffs.
Hannah Johnson (Staunton, Va./Wilson Memorial) added 12 kills and 19 digs, and was one of two Royals with two service aces. Amy Goodman (Midlothian, Va./Midlothian) also served for two and landed eight kills.
Tori Wigley (Elkton, Va./East Rockingham) re-set her career high with 44 assists. EMU's setter had 43 against Randolph Friday night. Libero Delanie Miller (Dayton, Va./Turner Ashby) led all players with a career high 29 digs.
EMU plays their next three at home, starting with the final ODAC match of the season against Washington and Lee on Tuesday. Next Friday against Goucher is also a Rowdy Royals Match.