Chris Moise led all players with 18 kills as the men handed Stevenson its first loss.
Faced with an upstart team trying for its second big win in a row, the Eastern Mennonite men’s volleyball team responded to the challenge. For a time, the Royals played their best volleyball of the year before gritting out the finish in a 3-1 win over NECVA Metro foe Stevenson.
The Mustangs had never beaten EMU coming in, entering with a 0-16 mark against the Royals. But with an infusion of young talent this year, Stevenson entered the match 7-0 overall and riding a 3-1 win over No. 15 Ramapo.
Eastern Mennonite quickly took the momentum on the home court, streaking to a 9-2 lead with some big attacks and a pair of service aces.
Stevenson called a timeout and regrouped, but game one was never in doubt as the Royals won 25-18.
Game two looked to be the same, as the men ran out to a 23-12 edge. But after trading points, EMU got sloppy and gave up a 5-0 run. The Royals still won 25-18, but the momentum turned for game three.
Stevenson jumped ahead 7-3. Then with an 11-8 lead, the Mustangs effectively scored two points for every one of EMU’s to grab an easy 25-15 win and force a game four.
The visitors took an early lead again before the Royals went up 7-5. Stevenson then used a 5-0 run to jump back in the lead, 16-13.
Eastern Mennonite responded with a back-breaking run. The men scored four straight and took the lead on a Chris Moise (Hollywood, Fl./South Broward) kill. The Mustangs called a timeout but their next attack sailed just out of bounds. The Royals pushed the run to 7-0, taking a 20-16 edge and the wind out of Stevenson’s sails.
The Mustangs got back within two before EMU closed things out on a 5-1 tear, winning 25-19.
Moise’s big swings led the way on the attack, as he dropped in a match high 18 kills. The Royals also had 12 service aces as a team, with Moise dropping in three. Greg Knight (Chesapeake, Va./Hickory) landed five aces.
Junior Nolan Prock (Virginia Beach, Va./Frank W. Cox) had nine kills, three aces and a match high 15 digs.
John Barry (Aaron Bridge, Oh./Worthington Kilbourne) had 37 assists and four block assists. Frankie Coto (Miami, Fl./Southwest Miami) also had four stuffs while libero Kendall Garber (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) was good for 11 digs.
Austin Jacoby led Stevenson with 16 kills.
The win is the fourth straight for the Royals, as they are now 6-4 overall. More importantly, EMU is 5-0 in NECVA Metro play and one of just two undefeated teams left in the seven-team division. The men play at Philadelphia Biblical, which is 1-0 in the Metro, this Saturday at 7:00pm.