The Toughest Opponent

MILWAUKEE, WI – The Lady Eagles entered Wisconsin with hopes of a victory against the Blue Angels of Mt. Mary, but struggles with execution led to a trip home with a 3-1 loss.

Mt. Mary (NCAA DIII) led the pacing in set one, and it was evident that they were hungry for the win.  Emmaus found themselves in the negative for attack percentage. The set ended with a win for the he Blue Angels, 22-25.  Set two was a bright spot in the evening, as the Lady Eagles were able to generate some offense and hit .179 for a 25-16 victory.  In sets three and four, Emmaus ran into more trouble with consistency and lost the match with scores of 16-25 and 22-25.  Chelsea Smith and Alli Howard led the team with 10 kills each in the match.

"Except for a run in set three, we did not control what was happening on our side of the court or the pace of the match," said Coach Pitman.  "Give credit to Mt. Mary for taking the opportunities we awarded them tonight."

Emmaus hit -.012 on the evening and lost 16 points on service errors and aces.  The team had a hard time maintaining unity and intensity in the match – two things in which they have had recent success.

"Yes, we have players battling illness right now.  Yes, we are nursing injuries from playing on the weekend.  But these things are not responsible for the loss," commented Coach Pitman.  "We lost this match because we did not play to the physical, mental, or relational level that we are capable of.  Our toughest opponent tonight was ourselves.  Everyone on this team, from the coaches, to the players, to the manager, is responsible for making sure we give our all every time we play.  None of us were able to say that with conviction after the match.  We have all committed to creating a culture of excellence for Emmaus volleyball and tonight we did not live up to our own standards.  We will learn from this experience and continue to work hard to prepare our minds and bodies for our next opportunity to be on the court together" (Coach Pitman).

The Lady Eagles' time to work to that end will be short, as they face a very stiff test this weekend.  Emmaus hosts Ozark Christian College (Joplin, MO) for their first conference battle and first home match of the season.  The Lady Ambassadors were nationally ranked (#4) in the NCCAA last season and have been perennial regional champions and national tournament qualifiers.  Match time is Saturday (9/19) at 1:00 pm in the Pollard Fieldhouse.