SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – EMU wrapped up its opening weekend on Saturday, splitting a doubleheader at the Wittenberg Classic.
The Royals took down Roanoke, 3-2 (27-25, 23-25, 25-17, 17-25, 15-13), before falling to host Wittenberg in the finale, 3-1 (20-25, 25-23, 10-25, 19-25).
EMU vs Roanoke
Record: EMU 1-1, 0-0 CVC | Roanoke College 0-2, 0-0 CVC
Roanoke jumped out to a big 14-5 lead over the Royals and maintained a big lead to 18-11. EMU then went on a 5-0 run highlighted by a pair of blocks from David Ward and AJ Bagby and a Tyler Oaks ace, to force a Roanoke timeout. The Maroons continued to stay on top with a slim margin until, with Roanoke leading 23-21, EMU used a Walter Spurlock kill and a pair of Roanoke errors to pull ahead 24-23. The Maroons scored two straight to get to set point, but an Oaks kill, a Ben Childers ace and an attack error gave EMU the set win.
The teams traded points to a 17-16 RC lead before EMU went on a 4-0 run with points from Spurlock, Ward and Christopher Webster, to go up 20-17. Roanoke battled back and tied things and the set stayed tight, with EMU holding a 23-22 lead before the Maroons picked up three straight points to knot things at one set apiece.
The Royals never trailed in set three, keeping a one to two point lead until Roanoke was able to tie things at 10-10. Back-to-back kills from Ward and a Nate McGhee ace gave EMU a cushion, that they would maintain and eventually extend to a six-point lead. After Roanoke pulled within five at 22-17, EMU ended the set with a Spurlock kill and two aces from Bagby.
It was a 10-4 Roanoke run that was the turning point in the fourth set. With EMU ahead 5-4 , Roanoke’s run put them ahead 14-9 and forced EMU to call timeout. A McGhee kill, a Spurlock ace and a pair of Roanoke errors cut the Maroons lead to one and the teams, like much of the match, traded points to RC up 18-16. Unfortunately for the Royals, Roanoke was able to pick up the set win, scoring seven of the next eight points to force a decisive fifth set.
Roanoke jumped ahead 10-6 in the final frame before EMU fought back, tying things at 10, with kills from Childers and McGhee. The Maroons picked up a small lead, up 13-12, before EMU closed out the set, and the match, with kills from Ward and Spurlock and a match-ending block from Spurlock and Bagby.
McGhee – 20 kills, 11 digs, 2 blocks
Spurlock – 14 kills, 15 digs, 2 blocks