The men’s volleyball team fought a back-and-forth match of five games yesterday against nationally-ranked and commensurately obnoxious (their team managers and players engaged in spits with Royals fans) Stevenson, finally succumbing to Stevenson’s pressure in the final game.
The Royals pounced on the first game with claws out, doubling Stevenson’s score quickly at 18-9 and carrying the lead to a final of 25-16 first game. Stevenson showed their tenacity after a soul-crushing first game by staying neck-and-neck all second game until the score came to 23-23. Senior Chris Moise nearly punched a hole in the floor with his spike on the penultimate point to bring the game 24- 23, where Stevenson then anticlimactically hit the ball into the stands to lose the game.
Stevenson, down 2-0 starting the third game, fortified their defenses and won the third game 25-20. EMU and Stevenson both played a thrilling fourth game, going point-for-point until Stevenson finally squeaked out a 28-26 win. The final game saw EMU rally to 12-9 after the previous losses. Stevenson then seemingly recruited Stonewall Jackson and did not drop another point, making a 6-0 run to win, the final score: 15-12.
This final home game was dedicated to EMU’s five seniors. Moise led the team with 17 kills and 18 digs. Seniors Greg Knight and Travis Riesen followed close behind with 17 and 16 digs, respectively. Senior John Grove led the team with one solo block and seven block assists. Senior John Barry led with 59 assists and managed four kills as the setter.
These five seniors have been the driving force on the volleyball team the past four years, propelling them this season to a winning record of 15-12. Between the five seniors, the leave EMU holding six different spots on EMU’s all-time leaderboards.