The Emory volleyball team continues their challenging early-season schedule this Friday and Saturday (Sept. 13-14) when it travels to St. Louis and the campus of Washington University to take part in the East-To-West Challenge. The Eagles will face three opponents, starting with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in a 1:15 pm (EDT) start on Friday. Following the contest against the Athenas, Emory will square off against Juniata College at 5:45. The final day of play will see the Eagles match-up against Cal Lutheran at 1:15 pm.
For a list and times of matches, please go to:
Emory enters the upcoming weekend as the No. 1 D-III program in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 Poll.
THE COACHES - Emory head coach Jenny McDowell (Georgia, '89) begins her 24th year at the helm of the Eagles' program with a school and career mark of 751-166. She has 20 campaigns of 30 or more wins, including last year's slate of 30-6, and has directed the program to 23 consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament. She has steered the Eagles to six berths to the national semifinals and has national championships to her credit in 2008 and 2018.
2019 represents the eighth year that Kurt Vlasich (Pepperdine, '98) has directed the fortunes of the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps program. During his tenure, he has guided CMS to a record of 203-54, which includes the 2017 NCAA D-III Championship.
In her eighth year of calling the shots for Juniata College is head coach Heather Pavlik (Juniata, '95). Pavlik heads into the East-to-West Challenge with a school and career slate of 198-54. She has directed the Eagles to NCAA Tournament berths in each of her first seven campaigns.
Kellee Roesel is in her 14th campaign as the head coach at Cal Lutheran. Roesel, who guided the Regals to the 2015 NCAA Championship, has registered a school and career ledger of 314-78.
SERIES RECORDS – Emory holds a 12-10 all-time mark vs. Juniata. The teams split two meetings last season with JC earning a 3-2 win on the campus of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps while Emory notched a 3-0 triumph in the semifinals of the NCAA D-III Championships.
The Eagles have claimed six of the nine meetings against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. In the most recent match between the programs, the Athenas battled to a 3-1 win over Emory last season.
Emory checks in with a 5-2 series edge against Cal Lutheran. Saturday's clash will be the first time the Eagles and Regals have met since 2016 (3-0 CLU win).
RECORDS – Emory stands 6-0 after playing its way to three wins at last weekend's Berry National Invitational. The Eagles defeated No. 14 Christopher Newport, 3-0, on Friday before opening Saturday with a sweep of Covenant College. The team then closed out the Invitational with an intense back-and-forth 3-2 outcome over No. 9 Berry. Emory has won its last 11 matches against top-25 ranked teams
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, ranked No. 3 in this week's AVCA Top 25 Poll, claims a 7-1 record after sweeping four matches at last weekend's Cal Lutheran Invitational. The Athenas start the East-to-West Challenge on a five-match win streak.
No. 6-ranked Juniata stands 4-2. In their most recent action, the Eagles won two of their contests at their ASICS Tournament, besting Ithaca (3-0) and Swarthmore (3-2) before dropping a four-set decision to Carnegie Mellon.
Cal Lutheran has gotten off to a solid start with six wins in its first eight outings. The Regals are coming off a successful weekend at the Invitational which saw them go 4-0.
MARTIN NAMED CO-OFFENISVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK – For the second straight week, an Emory player was recognized by the University Athletic Association with sophomore Tara Martin's selection as the conference's Co-Offensive Player of the Week.
The 5-foot-9 Martin tied for the team lead with an average of 3.20 kills over 10 sets of action while hitting .333 (32-8--72) over the three contests. In addition, she averaged 1.40 digs and 0.40 blocks per set. A standout performance took place in the finale of the Invitational against No. 9-ranked and host Berry, where she finished as one of the team's three double-figure terminators, tying for second on the club with a career-best 15 kills in a 3-2 outcome over the Vikings. She added five digs and a pair of block assists.
SRB LANDS SPOT ON BERRY NATIONAL INVITATIONAL ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM – Freshman setter Cassie Srb was tabbed as an all-tournament pick at the Berry National Invitational, appearing all 11 of the team's sets and averaging of 10.1 assists and 1.27 digs per game. Against Berry, Srb tallied 48 assists and chipped in a pair of block assists in a five-set decision over No. 9 and host Berry College. Her final block assist knotted the score at 13-13 in the decisive fifth set which saw Emory prevail by a 15-13 count.
Cassie holds down the No. 2 spot on the UAA ladder with an average of 10.45 assists per set.
THOMPSON CLIMBS DIGS LADDER – Elyse Thompson recorded 42 digs during the Berry National Invitational, boosting her career total to 1,407 with that mark good for the No. 2 spot on the program's all-time ladder. Thompson trails only Kate Bowman's (2011-14) standard of 1,511. An All-America Honorable Mention pick last year, Thompson stands fifth among UAA performers with an average of 4.09 disg per set.
O'DOWD THROWS BLOCK PARTY – Sophomore Roisin O'Dowd came through with a match-high tying six blocks (0-6) against Berry, four of which came down the stretch in the decisive fifth game and helped rally the Eagles from a 13-10 precipice. With the set knotted at 13-13, O'Dowd teamed with Morgan McKnight (who also finished with six blocks), to stymie back-to-back Berry hitting attempts, snapping the tie and giving Emory the win.
O'Dowd has played in 16 of the squad's 22 sets and stands first on the team and 14th on the UAA list with an average of 0.81 blocks per game.
McKNIGHT SOLID AT BERRY INVITATIONAL – Senior outside Morgan McKnight turned in an excellent performance at the Berry National Invitational, tying for the team lead with a 3.20 kills-per-set average while hitting .324 (32-8—74). McKnight chalked up double figures in kills in two matches including a team-high 16 (tying her third-highest career total) against Berry College.
McKnight is tied for first on the club and second in the UAA with an average of 3.05 kills per set. She has 10 or more terminations in five of her six matches.
During her career, McKnight has totaled 39 matches of double-figure kills and has dialed up a total 878 successful attack attempts.
EMORY CAPTAINS – Serving as the captains for the 2019 Emory volleyball team will be seniors Elyse Thompson and Morgan McKnight.
NEW FACES ON THE EMORY ROSTER – Seven talented freshmen comprise this year's 22-player roster with those rookies being: Katie Hulme (Saratoga, CA), Cassie Srb (Seabrook, TX), Caitlyn Reynolds (West Baden, IN), Abby Heimlicher (Parker, CO), Katie Carmichael (Park Ridge, IL), Kirwan Carey (Westport, CT) and Amanda Meyer (St. Louis, MO).
EMORY ENJOYS SUCCESS ON HOME FLOOR – The Eagles have enjoyed considerable success over the years playing at the Woodruff PE Center compiling a home won-lost slate of 384-56 (.871) since 1992.
More recently, Emory has been dominant at the Woodpec, compiling a 55-6 record at home since the 2015 campaign. In 2017, the Eagles were successful in 10 of 12 home matches.