DUBUQUE, IA – The Emmaus volleyball team returned from their first NCCAA National Tournament
appearance in Greenville, SC with tired bodies but satisfied hearts, as the eighth-seeded underdogs
were able to secure a sixth place final placing to conclude their season.
I remember laying on the gym floor at Emmaus after a long workout with Hannah Postma this summer. We were talking about the team for this season, which seemed to be our most frequent topic of conversation. We would dream about how incredible it would be to go to the National Tournament. Well, after a great, hard-fought season, you can only imagine how it felt to hear Coach say the words, “Pack your bags, we’re going to South Carolina!”
The Emmaus volleyball team will continue on in post-season play, as yesterday the Lady Eagles earned an at-large berth to the 2017 NCCAA Division II National Tournament in Greenville, SC. “We are happy to be part of a very competitive region, and are honored to represent them and Emmaus on the national stage,” commented Coach Pitman.
Emmaus had strong contributions from multiple players in the final. Captain Hannah Postma had a career high 55 assists, with Wynne Vandersall also hitting a career best 28 kills. Lyndra Davis pounded 10 kills, and Alli Howard and Paige Sweeney both had huge games with 9 kills each. Nicole Gordon had 3 service aces, and Savannah Petersen had 27 digs and 5 assists.
"This was an exceptional effort against a strong opponent," said Coach Pitman. "I was extremely pleased with our play and effort. Macalaster was simply the better team today and I thought we did all we could to be competitive in this fast paced match."
Paige Sweeney had her biggest night of the season with 13 kills and just a single error. Wynne Vandersall and Alli Howard split the outside offense evenly with 8 kills each, and Lyndra Davis contributed 5. Hannah Postma had 32 assists as Emmaus hit .265 on the night. Libero Savannah Petersen had 17 digs.
All players on the roster contributed to the win, as Emmaus continued to work on ball control, hitting .330 compared to Mt. Mary’s -.122. “It was important for us to play a hard match tonight and control the elements that we have been working on,” commented Coach Pitman.
“We are continuing to talk about growing and the process more than the score,” said Coach Pitman after the match. “I am proud of each young lady on this team. It is nice to be on the winning side of the scoreboard, but more importantly we are striving as a team to push ourselves, to do things the right way, and to honor the Lord as we do so.”
Friday night saw Emmaus pitted against NAIA opponent Silver Lake College (Manitowoc, WI). The Lady Lakers presented some large blocks, but the Lady Eagles were able to control the pace of the match with a quick offense and won in straight sets with all players contributing to the effort (25-9, 25-7, 25-18).
Lyndra Davis had her biggest night of the season as she cranked out 7 kills in the right side position. Wynne Vandersall had another 13 kill evening, and middles Paige Sweeney and Elizabeth Brame each contributed 6 to the cause. Setter Hannah Postma had 33 assists, and Libero Savannah Petersen had 12 digs
Alli Howard had her biggest match of the season, putting down 9 kills with just a single error. Howard also had 3 aces and 2 assisted blocks, and led the team with 13 points. Wynne Vandersall had 12 kills and Paige Sweeney had 8 along with 4 assisted blocks. Hannah Postma dished up 31 assists as the team hit .337 on the night.
Wynne Vandersall led the attack for the Lady Eagles with 13 kills, followed by Paige Sweeney with 5 and Alli Howard with 4. Setter Hannah Postma had 28 assists and Libero Savannah Petersen had 13 digs.
Emmaus was able to control the pacing of both matches. Although Gogebic presented some strong play at the net, the Lady Eagles’ passing and defense gave the team many opportunities to transition to success on the offensive side.
DUBUQUE, IA – The Emmaus volleyball team is eager to see if they can pick up where they left off last fall as they begin regular season play this week. The Lady Eagles went 16-7 in 2016, with a 2nd place finish in the Midwest Christian College Conference regular season standings and tournament. Emmaus also took home the 3rd place trophy at the ACCA National Tournament.
Sweeney, a 5’11 middle hitter, spent her prep career at Purnell-Swett High, where she earned two varsity letters for the Lady Rams. She served as team captain her senior year, was voted Best Offensive Player and team MVP, and earned Scholar Athlete of the Month recognition. Sweeney also made the SEC All-Conference Team as a senior.
Vandersall, a 5’8 outside hitter, played for one of Iowa’s top prep programs at Mt. Vernon High, where she pounded 915 career kills. 310 of those kills came during her senior season, in which she also had a .323 hitting percentage. Wynne also posted 31 aces last season while serving with 97.6 percent accuracy.
Davis, a 5’5 pin hitter, earned three varsity letters for the Lady Bulldogs at Zephyrhills High. In 2016 she was a Zephyrhills Athlete of the Month selection, and was awarded 1st Team All-Conference in the Sunshine Athletic Conference.
The Lady Eagles added further depth to their roster today with the signing of local standout Emma Reibling. Reibling, an outside hitter, had a strong career at Tri-State Christian (Galena, IL), where she was a four year letter winner and three year varsity captain.
The Lady Eagles are pleased to welcome Kelsey Shady to their team for the next four years. Shady, a 5’7 pin hitter from Mt. Vernon, Iowa, lettered with the Mt. Vernon Mustangs - one of the state’s historically dominant programs.
The Lady Eagles are pleased to announce the addition of Kendra and Nicole Gordon to their roster for the upcoming season. The Gordon sisters were both three year letter winners at Hamilton High (Hamilton City, CA), where they led the Lady Braves to a Northern Section Division V Championship.