From Emory University Athletics
The No. 8-ranked Emory volleyball team enjoyed a successful start to its National Invitational Tournament with a pair of Friday wins over South Region opponents. The Eagles opened with a 3-0 verdict (25-19, 25-21, 26-24) over Washington and Lee before battling its way to a 3-2 triumph (20-25, 25-18, 25-21, 17-25, 15-6) over Randolph-Macon College. The two victories upped Emory's overall record to 23-5. Prior to the Randolph-Macon match, the Eagles' Hannah Billings was recognized in a Senior Night ceremony.
Emory closed out the R-MC contest hitting .169 (57-28—172) to the Yellow Jackets' .136 (54-30—177), the 22nd time this season it held an advantage in that category. The Eagles posted a 78-70 edge in digs and a 12-11 margin in total blocks. In the decisive fifth set, Emory capitalized on two Yellow Jackets service errors and three hitting miscues in taking a 6-2 lead. Back-to-back kills by sophomore Sara Carr stretched the Eagles' cushion to 8-2 before R-MC narrowed the gap to four points at 4-8. Emory then rattled off five unanswered points, highlighted by a pair of kills from junior Karissa Dzurik and two aces from Carr, to take a commanding 13-4 lead. Dzurik paced the team's offensive attack with a season-high 15 kills, while adding four block assists, while Carr chalked up 14 terminations, her eighth straight and 14 outing of double digits this season, 14 digs, four aces and four (1-3) total blocks. Freshman Leah Saunders rounded out the double-figure attackers with 10 kills. Sophomore Elyse Thompson topped all players with 33 digs, her fifth contest this season with 30 or more. The win also raised the Eagles' home record to 10-0.
Carr and Saunders combined for 21 of Emory's 40 kills in the Washington & Lee encounter with Carr notching 11 and Saunders 10. Carr also added eight digs and four block assists to the cause. Dzurik gave the offense a boost with eight successful attack attempts while McKnight came through with seven. Junior Mady Arles dished out 21 assists and chipped in a pair of service aces. The Eagles outhit the Generals .217 (40-15—115) to .130 (36-20—123) and held a 9-5 bulge in total blocks.