The Eagles played a great weekend of volleyball on Saturday, finishing undefeated at the Calvin Labor Day Weekend Tournament.

The Eagles now have a 5-0 record to begin the season following victories over Defiance College (Ohio), John Carroll University (Ohio), Thomas More College (Ky.) and the NCAA Division III No.1-ranked team, Calvin College (Mich.).

To begin the tournament, the Eagles easily topped Thomas More 3-0 (25-11, 25-16, 25-17). Junior right-side hitter/setter Sarah Maher had nine kills, and junior setter Sydney Miles had 34 assists paired with 11 digs.

The Eagles had their first real challenge when they played Calvin but still enjoyed a tremendously impressive win, defeating Calvin 3-1.

“Going into someone’s home court and being able to win [four] matches, including beating a team that hasn’t lost at home since 2011, shows our maturity and passion,” Head Coach Jenny McDowell said.

The Eagles dominated Calvin 3-1 (23-25, 27-25, 25-17, 25-13) last Friday. The team was aided by a solid defense as they finished the match with a 69-57 advantage in digs. Emory also played well at the net, ending with a 14-4 margin in total blocks.

After dropping a tough first set, the Eagles held a 10-8 edge in the second game before seeing the Knights rattle off a 7-1 spurt that put them ahead, 15-11. However, they rallied back to win the set and tie the match at 1-1. After winning the second set, Emory continued to control the match and easily won the next two sets. Maher led the team with 17 kills.

“We knew we were close and that we just had to dictate more of the game, and if we kept playing at our pace that the games would start to fall in our direction,” Miles said after the game.

The dominant effort was not lost on their coach.

“Great first set and great second set, we knew we had to play at the highest level to win those sets, we had to fight for every point, and our team does that, and it shows that we are [a] solid group of competitors,” McDowell added with pride.

On Saturday the Eagles defeated Defiance 3-1 (25-17, 21-25, 25-14, 25-17). Junior outside hitter Kathryn Trinka had a game leading 16 kills in the win, and junior middle hitter Shannon Nugent had 11 kills with no errors in 13 swings.

After defeating Defiance, the team went on to play John Carroll, winning 3-0 (25-19, 25-14, 25-7). In the match Trinka had 11 kills, while Miles had 39 assists and added 11 digs.

The team’s tournament play was definitely eye opening, and Miles attributes it to their preparation.

“The most impressive thing about our team this weekend was just how we were able to translate what we’ve done all preseason into matches,” Miles said. “It didn’t feel like our first tournament.”

The team plays their next match this Friday, when they host the first day of the Emory Classic. Emory is set to play Covenant College at 5 p.m. and Johns Hopkins (Md.) at 7 p.m.


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