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.
"We were blessed to earn a spot in this tournament, and our team did not take it for granted for a single moment," said Coach Pitman. "This was an amazing experience from start to finish, and to be able to finish the season higher than our seeding was a great way for us to end what has been an incredible ride this fall!"
Emmaus faced #1 Kentucky Christian University and #4 Bob Jones University in their pool play matches on Thursday in Greenville; the Lady Knights and the Lady Bruins were the Mid-East and South Region Champions respectively. Although the Lady Eagles lost both matches, they competed well. "I believe we did a fantastic job for our first time on this large of a stage," commented Coach Pitman. "The ladies are to be commended for their strong efforts on the court throughout the tournament."
The Lady Eagles closed out their season on Friday against #5 Providence University College, and were very eager for the chance for an upset in their final match. Struggles with serve receive and hitting percentage saw Emmaus drop the first set by a score of 14-25. "After the first set, we talked about how this type of play did not represent our team, and we were determined to end our season with our very best," said Coach Pitman. The Lady Eagles made good on their word, as they charged back against the Lady Pilots and took the next three sets (25-22, 25-17, and 25-15).
Reflecting on the entire season, Coach Pitman had this to say: "This group of young women has been amazing to watch as they had a great deal of success on the court this fall. But beyond the numbers, this team was gracious, they were unified, and they represented the Lord and Emmaus well wherever they traveled. The ladies were truly invested, and they kept their focus on Christ all season instead of on themselves. I am so incredibly proud of them."
The Lady Eagles would like to extend their deep appreciation to the wonderful administration, staff, and students at Emmaus who supported them all season long. The team also thanks all the incredible parents, extended families, and friends who traveled to watch matches or supported via video from afar.
The Lady Eagles will now take a well-deserved break for the off season. The future looks bright for the team, and Emmaus looks forward to welcoming new members for the 2018 campaign soon!
The 2017 Season by the Numbers:
Overall Record: 22-5
NCCAA Opponents: 13-3
NCCAA North Region Opponents: 9-1
MCCC Regular Season/Postseason: 7-0
NCCAA DII National Tournament Qualifier
NCCAA DII Final National Ranking: #6
Midwest Christian College Conference Regular Season Champions
Midwest Christian College Conference Tournament Champions
AVCA All-American: Hannah Postma
NCCAA All-American: Hannah Postma
NCCAA Scholar Athletes: Vivienne Yates, Elizabeth Brame, Hannah Postma, Alli Howard, Savannah Petersen
NCCAA National Player of the Week: Hannah Postma, Wynne Vandersall
NCCAA All-Region: Hannah Postma, Wynne Vandersall
MCCC Most Valuable Player: Hannah Postma
MCCC First Team All-Conference: Wynne Vandersall, Paige Sweeney
MCCC Second Team All-Conference: Savannah Petersen
MCCC Honorable Mention All-Conference: Elizabeth Brame