MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Playing their first official contests since August 29th, the Emmaus volleyball team knew they were in for a challenge as they headed north into Minnesota for the North Central Invitational. The Lady Eagles took on Trinity Bible College (Ellendale, ND) in the first match of the night, and struggled out of the gate. The Lady Lions brought a strong balanced attack to the court, while Emmaus generated many errors. Trinity took the first two sets by scores of 14-25 and 19-25. "Our hitting percentage was in the negative for both sets, and it is next to impossible to win when that is the case," commented Coach Pitman.
However, the team purposed to change those percentages before set three and indeed it was a different team that emerged as the Lady Eagles upped their offense to take the set 25-19. Trinity kept attacking, but Emmaus continued great play in set four, taking the Lady Lions by a slim margin of 25-23. The Lady Eagles upped their attack percentages to hit .275 and .219 in sets three and four, respectively.
The stage was set for the comeback, but it would not be an easy road as Trinity continued to play very determined volleyball. Momentum in set five swung back and forth, with Emmaus pulling away with a very slim and exciting 17-15 victory. "Coach Ruter and I are extremely proud of the ladies' efforts tonight," said Coach Pitman. "Trinity played a great match, and I am glad that we never gave up."
After the almost two hour affair, Emmaus faced a back-to-back match against Providence University College (Otterburne, Manitoba). The Lady Pilots, a perennial powerhouse, were nationally ranked (6th) in the NCCAA in 2014. "We were excited for the opportunity to play another tough match and knew we would have to step up our game to compete," commented Coach Pitman.
The Lady Eagles started strong and kept up with Providence before dropping the first set 21-25. The Lady Pilots continued a relentless attack in sets two and three and signs of fatigue began to show on the Emmaus side. "We worked hard to be in position and did a fairly good job, but tiredness led to errors and Providence took advantage of that," said Coach Pitman. The Lady Eagles lost sets two and three by scores of 15-25 and 9-25, and sit at 3-1 on the season.
Emmaus continues play today, facing Crown College (St. Bonifacius, MN) and host school North Central in another set of back-to-back matches. Games times are 4:00 and 6:00 pm.