ATLANTA–The Emory Women’s Volleyball Team hosted the National Invitational at the Woodruff PE Center this past weekend, and it was no surprise when they came out on the other side with four hard fought wins.
Emory, ranked No. 6 in Division III, won both their Friday matches,opening with a 3-0 triumph over SUNY-Cortland (25-3, 25-22, 25-12) and then battled their way to a 3-1 win over No. 9 Juniata (25-20, 25-23, 15-25, 25-12.)
The normal stars stood out on the squad, with junior Cat McGrath leading the team’s offensive attack with 10 terminations and hitting .500 against Cortland. She then led the team with 13 kills and hit .565 against Juniata. Juniors Leah Jacobs and Kate Bowman also led the team with double figure efforts, while classmate Taylor Erwin led the defensive side in digs for both matches, logging 10 digs against SUNY-Cortland and a high of 23 digs against Juniata. Not only was this already impressive, but it is also her 9th match of 20 or more digs so far this season.
Saturday proved more trying for the Eagles, as they opened with a 3-1 win against Berry College (25-11, 25-17, 24-26, 25-18) before battling to a 3-2 victory against No. 15 Trinity University (17-25, 25-20, 25-18, 29-31, 15-12).
During the Berry game Cat McGrath once again came up with a solid offensive effort, as well as tied for match honors with five blocks. Another strong effort came from junior Sydney Miles, who came away from the match with 38 assists and seven terminations.
The intensity level at the Emory v. Trinity match was described as an atmosphere that could’ve easily been perceived as a post-season “slugfest”. Although the Tigers came away from the game with advantages in hitting percentage as well as digs, Emory still came away triumphant after a strong 5th set, when Emory posted a .321 hitting percentage as compared to Trinity’s .185 percentage.
Both Jacobs and Bowman were key in this match, with Jacobs marking a career high 22 kills (the highest total by an Emory player this season) and a .309 hitting percentage, and Bowman with a career high 20 terminations, along with a killer .429 hitting percentage.
Up next for the Eagles is an away trip to Waltham, Mass., where they will compete in the UAA Championships starting on Friday afternoon at 2:00 PM.