The EMU volleyball men opened their 2014 season on Saturday, splitting a doubleheader with D-II Coker College. The Royals won the first match between the two, giving coach Dominick Porter a win in his first outing, before falling to the Cobras in the nightcap.
EMU 3, Coker 2
The first match was a back-and-forth thriller, with the men winning in five. They broke open a close game one when freshman Matt Dolan (Chester, Va./Thomas Dale) landed five aces within six serves to build a 19-10 lead. Coker wouldn’t recover in a 25-17 decision.
The Cobras built a small lead in game two, and withstood a late EMU run for a 25-21 win. Eastern Mennonite broke off a 24-24 tie in game three for a 26-24 win, but gave up the final two to Coker in game four to lose 25-23.
The teams were locked up at 10-10 apiece in game five, but the Royals got back-to-back kills to turn momentum into a 15-12 clincher.
EMU hit .242 as a team and landed 10 service aces, headed by Dolan. EMU’s freshman setter lofted 50 assists in his first collegiate effort and had six aces.
Quentin Moore (Richmond, Va./Highland Springs) had 21 kills, while Scott Brigham (Montpelier, Va./Patrick Henry) had 19 kills. Brigham also had 11 digs. Libero Zach Guiciardi (Creighton, Pa./Deer Lakes) also had 11 good passes. Garret Delph (Berryville, Va./.Leesburg Christian) contributed to six blocks, while Kyle Storc (Columbus, Oh./Bishop Watterson) had five stuffs.
Coker 3, EMU 1
The Cobras regrouped by the time the two teams met again Saturday night. They led much of game one, but had to score the final four to steal a 25-23 decision.
EMU played from behind in game two, and forced a number of late ties, but fell 25-22. A big 9-3 run in the middle of the third game gave the Royals the legs for a 25-21 win. But Coker jumped to a 9-2 lead in game four and ran away with a 25-14 win.
Brigham had another double double, notching 13 kills with just three errors while adding 11 digs. Moore led all players with 16 kills. Jesse Reist (Lancaster, Pa./J.P. McCaskey) added eight kills. Dolan had another 39 assists.
Guiciardi had a match high 12 digs. Storc was again a force at the net with six blocks.
The Royals are now 1-1 as they prepare for a Monday exhibition against a club team from Liberty University. Start time in Yoder Arena is 7 p.m. No stats will be kept for the exhibition, although there will be a live video webcast.