• 2018 Record: 27-6; 6-1 UAA
  • 2018 National Rank: 9th
  • NCAA Final Four: 2014, 2013, 2010, 2008, 2003
  • 24 NCAA Tournament Appearances
  • 8 UAA Championships

No. 6 Emory Volleyball California Bound

No. 6 Emory Volleyball California Bound

The Emory volleyball team gears up for its first road action of the season when it travels to Claremont, California, to take part in the East-West Challenge. 

Defending D-III national champion Claremont-Mudd-Scripps will serve as the host for the prestigious six-team Challenge with the action taking place at Roberts Pavilion.

Emory will face three opponents over the two days, starting with a Friday battle against Juniata College at 7:45 pm (EDT), followed by a 10:00 pm (EDT) clash against the host Athenas of CMS.  On Saturday, the Eagles wind up with a 3:15 pm contest vs. UT Dallas.

Emory enters this weekend's action as the No. 6 D-III program in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 Poll, up two spots from the previous week.

THE COACHES - Emory head coach Jenny McDowell (Georgia, '89) is in her 23rd year at the helm of the Eagles' program and claims a school and career mark of 722-161. She has 19 campaigns of 30 or more wins, including last year's slate of 30-7, and has directed the program to 22 consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament.  She has steered the Eagles to five berths to the national semifinals and has a national championship to her credit in 2008. 

Heather Pavlik (Juniata, '95) is in her eighth season as the head coach of the Juniata program. Pavlik has guided the Eagles to NCAA Tournament appearances in each of her seven campaigns, with last year's squad finishing with an overall record of 24-9.

In his eighth year of calling the shots for Claremont-Mudd-Scripps is head coach Kurt Vlasich.
Entering the weekend, Vlasich has compiled a school and career slate of 176-50, which includes a last season's effort of 31-5 en route to capturing the D-III national crown. Vlasich has led the program to five straight campaigns of 23 or more victories.

UT Dallas Head Coach Marci Allison (Angelo State, '99) checks in with a 15-year school and career record of 344-120.  She has seen the Comets play their way to five American Southwest Championships along with six appearances in the NCAA D-III Tournament.

SERIES RECORDS  – The Eagles stand 11-9 all-time vs. Juniata.  The two schools faced off last year with Emory prevailing, 3-0, at its National Classic Tournament.

Emory has won six of the eight meetings against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. The Eagles and Athenas last met at the 2017 Emory National Classic Tournament with the Eagles posting a 3-1 victory.

Emory will be playing UT Dallas for the first time.

RECORDS – Emory has won its last six outings and stands 7-1, following a 5-0 performance at their National Volleyball Tournament this past weekend.  Emory started out with a sweep of Transylvania last Thursday before posting whitewashes of Otterbein and No. 25 Berry College the following day.  On Saturday, the Eagles bested Whitworth, 3-1, before defeating Tufts, 3-0.

Juniata, ranked 13th in this week's AVCA Top 25 Poll, currently stands 3-3.  The Eagles hosted and won two of three matches at their Asics Invitational last weekend, defeating Christopher Newport and Carnegie Mellon while dropping a five-set decision to No. 3 Wittenberg. JC will match-up with No. 12 Washington University on Friday before taking on Emory.

No. 3-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps is off to a solid start with wins in seven of its opening eight matches.  The Athenas went 4-0 at the Trinity University Fall Classic last weekend, which included five-set triumphs over host Trinity and Texas-Tyler.

UT Dallas heads to California the owners of a 5-2 slate after sweeping East Texas Baptist on Tuesday.  The Comets received votes in this week's AVCA Poll.

DZURIK, SAUNDERS & ARLES CAPTURE All-TOURNEY HONORS – Seniors Karissa Dzurik and Mady Arles, along with sophomore Leah Saunders, were named to the National Tournament's All-Tournament Team over the weekend.

The 5-foot-11 Dzurik saw action in all 16 games over the five matches and averaged a team-high 3.25 kills, 0.81 digs and 0.75 blocks per set.  Dzurik registered three double-figure termination contests including a career-high 19 that led all players in the 3-1 victory over Whitworth. In addition, she pounded out 11 kills, second on the team, and hit .304 in Emory's 3-0 decision over No. 25 Berry.

Arles averaged 9.94 assists and 1.94 digs over her 16 sets of action.  She dished out a career-high 46 assists and chipped in six kills and four block assists in the decision over Whitworth. Earlier in the Tournament, she finished with 30 assists and a season-high 14 digs vs. Transylvania.

Saunders also competed in all 16 sets and ranked second on the team's scoresheet with an average of 2.62 kills per set. Her biggest output came in the Whitworth contest with a season-high 15 kills.

LEIMBACH RETURNS TO LINEUP – Senior middle Sydney Leimbach, an AVCA Honorable Mention All-American last season, made her first appearance in a match since mid-October of last year when she logged a set in the Transylvania contest, registering five kills and three block assists.  She would go onto to play all three sets against Berry, finishing with seven terminations, and one set vs.Whitworth.

WILKINS EARNS UAA VOLLEYBALL HONOR – Sophomore middle Finn Wilkins was named the UAA's Defensive/Setter Co-Player of the Week following her performance at the Emory National Tournament.

The 6-foot-2 Wilkins averaged a team-leading 1.62 blocks over 13 sets of action and played a key role in limiting the five opponents to a combined .093 attack percentage.  She led or shared for the team lead in blocks in three contests including a career-high of six (1-5) in a sweep of Transylvania. She tied that mark against Otterbein, coming through with one block solo and five block assists.

In UAA statistics, Wilkins paces the conference with a 1.59 blocks-per-set average and stands fifth in hitting percentage (.362).

NOTES – In UAA statistics through Sept.11, junior Morgan McKnight tops the league with an average of 3.89 kills per set while Arles is No. 2 in assists (10.42 aps) … The Eagles rank No. 2 in opponent hitting percentage (.109) … Junior Elyse Thompson tops the conference chart in digs (5.12 dps) … Thompson's 84 digs last weekend upped her career total to 908, good for 18th place on the school's all-time chart … Arles has doled out 1,262 assists during her Emory career and holds down the No. 12 spot on the program's all-time list … The Eagles enjoyed an advantage in hitting percentage in all five matches at the National Tournament, finishing with a .222 effort vs. .093 for the opposition …Emory has outhit all eight opponents this season … The Eagles registered a season-high 14 blocks in the win over Otterbein … Dzurik has 27 career outings with double-figure kills to her credit.

EMORY CAPTAINS – Serving as the captains for the 2018 Emory volleyball team will be seniors Mady Arles Sydney Leimbach and Mila Barzdukas .

EMORY ENJOYS SUCCESS ON HOME FLOOR – The Eagles have enjoyed considerable success over the years playing at the Woodruff PE Center compiling a home won-lost slate of 378-55 (.873) since 1992. 

More recently, Emory has been dominant at the Woodpec, compiling a 49-5 record at home since the 2015 campaign.  In 2017, the Eagles were successful in 17 of 18 home matches.