From Emory University Athletics
The No. 7-ranked Emory volleyball team will have the opportunity to defend its University Athletic Association title after earning a pair of wins on its home floor during the opening day of the league championships. The Eagles posted a 3-0 victory (25-19, 25-19, 25-16) over Case Western Reserve in the quarterfinal round before coming away with an exciting 3-2 (25-18, 27-29, 25-23, 23-25, 15-12) outcome over No. 9 Carnegie Mellon in the semifinals. Emory, winners of its last eight contests and the owners of a 27-5 overall record, will square off against No. 19 Washington University (23-9) in the championship match at 1:00 pm.
Emory and Carnegie Mellon waged a slugfest that saw the Eagles finish with 128 digs, the second-highest match total in school annals, while the Tartans registered 123. Emory pounded out a season-high 74 kills and hit .185 (74-30—238) compared to CMU's 61 terminations and .194 hitting mark. Sophomore Sara Carr led all players with a career-high tying 22 kills and contributed a personal-best 28 digs. It was Carr's 12th straight performance of double-figure kills and 18th on the year. Sophomore Morgan McKnight and junior Karissa Dzurik chalked up 16 and 11 kills, respectively, with McKnight's effort her 19thdouble-digit showing of the season. Senior Hannah Billings doled out a season-best 37 assists, her second-highest career output, while chipping in 13 digs and three of the team's eight service aces. Sophomore Elyse Thompson led the squad with 34 digs, her sixth match of the year with 30 or higher.
The Eagles offense was in high gear in their match against Case Western Reserve, hitting an impressive .385 (52-10—109) while limiting the Spartans to a .123 mark (31-17—114). The trio of sophomore Leah Saunders, Carr and McKnight combined for 34 kills with Saunders registering a season-best .588 attack (12-2—17) percentage. McKnight concluded the contest hitting .400 (11-1—25) and Carr .333 (11-2—27). Billings came through with another solid performance at setter, distributing 27 assists while Thompson and junior Mila Barzdukas contributed 14 and 12 digs, respectively.
The winner of the Emory-Wash U match-up will earn the UAA's automatic bid to the NCAA D-III Tournament with those selections being announced on Monday, Nov. 6, at 12:30 pm (EST) on ncaa.com. The Bears defeated Emory earlier this year, 3-2, at the UAA Round Robin II.