In a match-up of South Region powers, the No. 2-ranked Emory University volleyball team came through with a clutch performance Friday evening, defeating No. 9 Berry College before an appreciative Senior Night crowd at the Woodruff PE Center. The Eagles raised their overall record to 24-2 (14-0 at home) with a 3-0 verdict (25-23, 16-25, 18-25) over the Vikings who fell to 22-5.
The Eagles enjoyed a decided edge in hitting, registering an attack percentage of .333 (53-15—114), their sixth outing of the season of .300 or higher, compared to Berry's mark of .198 (32-13—96). Emory was clicking on all cylinders over the final two sets, hitting a keen .380 (36-9—71) while keeping the Vikings in check at .202 (22-8—69).
The Eagles finished with a 46-39 advantage in digs while Berry held a slight upper hand in total blocks, 6-5.
Senior Morgan McKnight topped all players with 13 kills, her seventh straight and 17th performance of double-digits on the year, to pace the Emory attack, while junior Leah Saunders chipped in 11 terminations, an attack percentage of .318 (11-4—22) and nine digs. The duo of sophomore Tara Martin and junior Maggie Rimmel played a key role in the victory with the pair combining for 17 successful swings and a hitting mark of .592. Martin pounded out nine kills and hit .500 (9-1—16) while Rimmel hit .727 on the strength of eight terminations with no error in 11 swings. Freshman setter Cassie Srb dished out 37 assists and added a team-high 11 digs.
Before the match, Senior Night festivities were conducted with the Eagles recognizing the contributions of Sara Carr, Morgan McKnight, Kelsey Meins, Sarah Porter, Maureen Schick and Elyse Thompson. Tonight's encounter against Berry was Emory's opening match of its National Invitation Tournament.
The Eagles close out the Invitational and regular season tomorrow when they square off against Wittenberg at 12:30 pm and Washington and Lee at 3:00 pm.