The Emory volleyball team closes out the regular-season portion of its schedule this weekend (Oct. 26-27) by hosting its National Invitational Tournament. The Eagles will play four matches over the two days, starting with a Friday afternoon (3:00 pm) contest against Salem College, followed by a 7:00 pm clash against Randolph-Macon. On Saturday, Emory will face Washington and Lee at 10:30 am, and then close out the Invitational with a 3:00 pm match-up vs. Birmingham Southern.
Prior to the Randolph-Macon match on Friday, Emory will conduct Senior Night Festivities with the contributions of Mady Arles (Richmond, VA), Mila Barzdukas (Studio City, CA), Becky Breuer (Aurora, IL), Karissa Dzurik (Columbia, PA), Sydney Leimbach (Atlanta, GA) and Carly Saitman (Hidden Hills, CA) being recognized.
A list of the matches are as follows:
Friday, Oct. 26
11:00 am – Oglethorpe vs. Salem (Ct. 2)
12:30 pm – Thomas More vs. Randolph-Macon (Ct. 1)
1:00 pm – Oglethorpe vs. Washington and Lee (Ct. 2)
3:00 pm – Emory vs. Salem (Ct. 1)
3:00 pm – Birmingham Southern vs. Thomas More (Ct. 2)
5:00 pm – Washington and Lee vs. Birmingham Southern (Ct. 1)
7:00 pm – Emory vs. Randolph-Macon (Ct. 1)
Saturday, Oct. 27
10:30 am – Emory vs. Washington and Lee (Ct. 1)
10:30 am – Salem vs. Thomas More (Ct. 2)
12:30 pm – Randolph-Macon vs. Birmingham Southern (Ct. 1)
12:30 pm – Washington and Lee vs. Thomas More (Ct. 2)
3:00 pm – Emory vs. Birmingham Southern (Ct. 1)
3:00 pm – Randolph-Macon vs. Salem (Ct. 2)
Emory began the week as the No. 8-ranked D-III program in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 Poll.
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 733-165. She has 19 campaigns of 30 or more wins, including last year's slate of 30-7, and has directed the school 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.
Catherine Head is in her first season as the head coach of the Salem College program. Head joined the Spirits after serving as an assistant coach at Brevard College.
In his 17th campaign of calling the shots for Randolph-Macon is head coach Bill Rogers. Heading into a Wednesday match vs. Hollins, Rogers had compiled a school and career record of 387-150. He has guided the Yellow Jackets to seven NCAA Tournament appearances.
Bryan Snyder is in his 19th season as the head coach at Washington and Lee, where he has registered a school ledger of 504-158. In 21 years as a head coach, Snyder claims a career mark of 545-183.
Birmingham Southern Head Coach Haven O'Quinn checks in with a two-year school record of 39-14. Last year O'Quinn led the Panthers to an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, ending the year of 20-9.
RECORDS – Emory takes an 18-5 overall record into the National Invitational. The Eagles are riding a five-match win streak, sweeping all five foes in the process. In its most recent outing, Emory defeated Agnes Scott College on October 18. The Eagles are 7-1 in matches played at the Woodruff PE Center this season.
Salem College stood at 11-12 prior to a Wednesday evening contest at Pfeiffer College. The Spirits hosted and dropped a 3-0 verdict to Meredith College on Tuesday.
Randolph-Macon was to host Hollins on Wednesday night looking to extend a four-match winning streak that had upped its record to 16-7. The Yellow Jackets have enjoyed a productive October, winning eight of nine matches.
Washington and Lee comes to Atlanta with an overall mark of 17-9. The Generals have been victorious in 12 of their last 13 matches and are coming off a five-set triumph at Randolph on Tuesday.
Birmingham Southern is on a roll, capturing its last 12 matches that has raised its overall record to 19-5. The Panthers hosted and toppled No. 16 Berry last Saturday, 3-0.
THOMPSON CONTINUES CLIMB UP DIGS LADDER – Over the last five matches, junior Elyse Thompson has compiled 77 digs, upping her career total to 1,133, good for eighth place on the school's all-time chart.
Heading into the weekend, Thompson is the lone Eagle to have played in all 78 of the team's sets, and her 4.59 digs-per-game average ranks fourth among UAA performers. She has totaled double-figure digs in 21 matches and has seven outings with 20-plus digs to her credit.
NOTES – In UAA statistics through Oct. 23, Emory stands second among UAA teams and 16th nationally in hitting percentage (.239) and first in opponent hitting percentage (.143) … Emory has outhit 18 foes this season … Mady Arles has doled out 1,765 assists during her Emory career and holds down the No. 8 spot on the program's all-time list … Arles has doled out 40 or more assists on seven occasions this year … Karissa Dzurik owns a team-high 15 contests of double-figure kills to her credit this season, 38 in her career … Entering the upcoming weekend, Dzurik is 15 terminations shy of reaching 800 in her career … Sydney Leimbach and Finn Wilkins are tied for fourth on the UAA ladder in blocks average (1.02 bps) … Leimbach has 13 matches with three or more blocks to her credit while Wilkins has eight … Career-wise, Leimbach's 236 total blocks slots her 18th all-time at Emory … Sophomore Leah Saunders begins the weekend with nine matches of double-figure kills … Carly Saitman tied her career high with 10 kills in the Agnes Scott match (Oct. 18) … Junior Morgan McKnight totaled a match-high 14 kills in the Agnes Scott contest, her eighth performance in double figures this year.