The No. 9-ranked Emory volleyball team captured the NCAA Mount Berry Regional Championship on Sunday afternoon, defeating No. 22-ranked Mary Hardin-Baylor. The Eagles nailed down their 14th victory in the last 15 outings and raised their record to 27-6 following a 25-19, 25-20, 25-14, decision over the Crusaders who closed out their season at 28-5.
The Emory offense was in high gear, closing out the contest with an attack percentage of .375 (51-12—104), its third-highest effort of the year. The Eagles continued to employ an effective serving game as well, doling out a season-high tying 14 aces. Over the nine sets that Emory played at the Regional it totaled 36 service aces.
Leading the offensive charge in Sunday's final was senior middle Sydney Leimbach, who launched a career-high tying 16 kills, hitting .591 (16-3—22) in the process with that mark the second-highest registered by an Emory player this year. Senior Karissa Dzurik closed out the contest with 13 terminations, her 22nd double-figure effort of the season. Sophomore Leah Saunders was next up on the score sheet with nine successful attack attempts to go along with two aces and eight digs. Senior Mady Arles ran the attack with precision, compiling 46 assists, tying her second-highest career total. Senior Becky Breuer keyed the serving effort with a career-high six aces, the high-water mark by an Emory player this year. Breuer also chipped in seven digs, tying for second high on the team to junior Elyse Thompson's match-high 11.
Leimbach, Saunder and Arles all were selected to the Mount Berry Regional All-Tournament Team with Arles being tabbed as the Most Outstanding Player.
Emory now advaces to next weekend's D-III Championships in Pittsburgh.