2019 UAA Volleyball Championships Website
The No. 1-ranked Emory volleyball program eagerly awaits this Friday and Saturday (Nov. 8-9) when it ventures to Chicago to compete in the 2019 University Athletic Association Championships.
The Eagles of Head Coach Jenny McDowell, 26-2 overall, enter the Championships as the No. 2 seed with a league mark of 6-1. Emory's opening-round foe will be No. 7 seed Brandeis (4-20, 1-6), with that bout taking place at noon (CST) on Friday. The winner of that contest advances to the semifinals later that day (4:00 pm) to meet the victor of the Washington University (#3 seed) vs. Case Western Reserve (#6 seed) clash. The championship match is slated for a 1:00 pm start on Saturday with the winner earning the league's automatic bid to the NCAA D-III Tournament. Below is schedule of the UAA Championships.
Coach McDowell has a 24-year school and career won-lost mark of 781-168.
Emory enters this year's Championships looking to defend its crown after sweeping Brandeis (quarters), Carnegie Mellon (semis) and Chicago (championships) last season. The Eagles have won six of the last 10 conference crowns.
Friday, Nov. 8 (times listed are CST)
12:00 pm – Match 1 – Chicago vs. Rochester
12:00 pm – Match 2 – Emory vs. Brandeis
2:00 pm – Match 3 – Washington University vs. Case Western
2:00 pm – Match 4 – Carnegie Mellon vs. NYU
4:00 pm -- Match 5 – Winner of Match 1 vs. Winner of Match 4
4:00 pm – Match 6 – Winner of Match 2 vs. Winner of Match 3
6:00 pm -- Match 7 – Loser of Match 1 vs. Loser of Match 4
6:00 pm – Match 8 – Loser of Match 2 vs. Loser of Match 3
Saturday, Nov. 9
10:00 am – 3rd place match – Loser of Match 5 vs. Loser of Match 6
10:00 am – 5th place match – Winner of Match 7 vs. Winner of Match 8
10:00 am – 7rd place match – Loser of Match 7 vs. Loser of Match 8
1:00 pm – Championship Match – Winner of Match 5 vs. Winner of Match 6
A total of three UAA teams are ranked in this week's AVCA Top 25. In addition to Emory, Chicago is No. 2 and Carnegie Mellon 19th.
Emory heads into the UAA Championships with wins in its last seven outings. Most recently, the Eagles finished with a 3-0 mark at their National Invitational Tournament this past weekend. Emory swept No. 9 Berry before battling to a five-set, come-from-behind decision over Wittenberg and a 3-1 triumph vs. Washington and Lee. Sophomore Tara Martin was tabbed as UAA Hitter of the Week after being named MVP of the Invitational, closing out the three matches with an average of 3.50 kills per set and a hitting percentage of .409 (42-6—88).
At the start of this weekend's action, the Eagles hold down the No. 1 spot among conference squads while ranking 15th nationally with a hitting percentage of .245. Emory has hit .300 or better in six contests this year and has enjoyed an edge in that category in 25 matches. The Eagles have h three players among the UAA's top five in kills, led by junior Leah Saunders' No. 1 mark of 3.31 per game, racking up nine straight and 17 matches of double-figure kills. Senior Morgan McKnight is fourth on that list at 3.14 terminations per set while Martin rounds out the top five at 3.03 per game. Emory averages 13.45 kills per set, second in the UAA and 17nd among all D-III schools. Freshman setter Cassie Srb has directed the Emory offense by doling out 10.84 assists per set, with that effort second in the league and eighth nationally.
Defensively, Emory has been solid, limiting the opposition to a .137 hitting percentage that stands third in the conference. The Eagles have held 10 foes to a hitting percentage of less than .100, with three of those opponents ending up with a minus percentage. Senior libero Elyse Thompson has anchored that defensive effort, averaging a team-high 4.52 digs per set, good for the No. 5 spot on the league ladder and seventh on the program's seasonal list. Thompson has logged 21 matches of double-figure digs, including nine of 20 or more. In the blocking department, the junior duo of Finn Wilkins (0.84 bps) and Maggie Rimmel (0.69 bps) stand 8th and 13th, respectively among league players.
EAGLES AND THEIR HONORS -- The following is a list of various honors that Emory players have received this season
Emory Classic All-Tournament Team (Aug. 30-31)
Leah Saunders (MVP)
East-West Battle All-Tournament Team (Sept. 13-14)
Leah Saunders (MVP)
Emory Invitational (Oct. 25-27)
Leah Saunders (MVP)
Emory National Invitational (Nov. 1-2)
Tara Martin (MVP)
UAA Player of the Week
Leah Saunders – Sept. 3 (Co-Hitter)
Tara Martin – Sept. 9 (Co-Hitter)
Leah Saunders – Oct. 7 (Hitter)
Leah Saunders – Oct. 14 (Hitter)
Elyse Thompson – Oct. 14 (Defense)
Morgan McKnight – Oct. 21 (Hitter)