By John Keuler & Zak Hudak
The volleyball team was in action this weekend in Chicago, Ill. where they battled conference foes in the second edition of this season’s University Athletic Association (UAA) Round Robin tournament. Over two days, the Eagles played four matches, going 3-1.
The Eagles’ 3-0 performance at the first Round Robin tournament, which was hosted in the Woodruff Physical Education Center (WoodPEC) earlier this month, and their performance in this competition secured them a No. 2 rank in the UAA.
On Saturday, Emory opened up their day against New York University (NYU) and with little difficulty dismissed the Violets in three consecutive sets.
They were led by outstanding efforts from junior setter Sydney Miles and senior outside hitter Leah Jacobs.
Miles recorded 35 assists, and Jacobs was often the benefactor of those sets as she landed 16 kills and swung with efficiency, boasting a .517 hitting percentage.
The following game matched Emory with No. 7-ranked Washington University (Mo.). The Bears proved to be formidable opponents, taking a two to one lead in sets before the Eagles were able to push the match to a fifth set. The Eagles were unable to come out on top in the final set, losing 15-13 and as a result accepted their first conference loss of the season.
“We didn’t play very well against them. We are definitely going to learn from that match and correct some things,” Head Coach Jenny McDowell said.
Sunday saw Emory add two more wins to their season total after rolling over Brandeis University (Mass.) and beating The University of Chicago in four sets.
“I loved the way the team was able to come back the next day [from the Washington loss] and beat Chicago,” McDowell said.
Sophomore middle hitter Jessica Holler led the team in kills in both contests with 14.
Miles ended the day with a new season high for assists in a four set match, successfully feeding a hitter 50 times during the game against Chicago.
The Eagles made significant position changes, such as senior outside hitter Kate Bowman’s switch to libero, at the start of the year. Since, each player has been willing to make any and all sacrifices to help the team, McDowell said.
“It’s a huge credit to this team for being flexible. The coolest thing about this team is that they’re all willing to do whatever it takes. Every player is very unselfish,” she said.
McDowell credited this selflessness as one of the leading factors in the team’s impressive 27-3 record on the season.
“The unity is the strength of this program,” she said.
The Eagles do not play again until Wednesday, Oct. 29, when they will take on Piedmont College (Ga.) at home. However, Emory will surely be looking forward to the the UAA Championships on the weekend of Nov. 7.
– By John Keuler, Contributing Writer & Zak Hudak, Sports Editor