Lady Eagles Earn Trip to Nationals!

2018 Emmaus Women's Volleyball Team

DUBUQUE, IA – Emmaus will have the privilege of continuing to play volleyball this November, as yesterday it was announced that the team earned an at-large berth to the 2018 NCCAA Division II National Tournament in Greenville, South Carolina.

Emmaus had their sights set on the NCCAA DII North Region championship this past weekend, and were prepared for a tough road – which is exactly what they encountered.  On Friday the Lady Eagles defeated a scrappy and tenacious Calvary University team in the quarter-final match by a score of 3-0, setting up a semi-final with the Lady Archers of Moody Bible Institute.  Emmaus had defeated Moody twice in October, but this would be the first encounter of the two teams with the Lady Archers at full strength.  "Moody is a well-coached team and we knew they would be very prepared for the match," said Coach Pitman.  "We had opportunity to scout and prepare as well, and with their full rotation in effect we knew it would be a hard fought encounter."

The two teams battled closely in the first set, until a serving run allowed the Lady Eagles to pull away and earn a 25-12 victory.  Moody responded by keeping set two very tight, and the two teams were knotted at 23 points each.  The Lady Archers appeared to have the set in hand as they had three set points offered to them by Emmaus.  With Moody up 25-26, Emmaus countered with a kill, a block, and a kill to end the set by a score of 28-26.  With the momentum in their favor, the Lady Eagles sealed set three with a 25-17 victory, and advanced to their first Regional Championship match in program history.  "Great job by our team tonight, we fought so hard and I am very proud of the fact that we stuck to our game plan and stayed aggressive when things were tight," commented Coach Pitman.

Emmaus would now face Maranatha Baptist University in the Championship match on Saturday, and knew they would need their best game to win.  The Sabercats came into the match having won seven of the last eight regional banners, and were on the quest for their twentieth as a team.  Maranatha also carried the distinction of being the three time defending National Tournament champions.  The teams battled closely in the first set, but Maranatha's relentless attack was able to find all the right spots in the Emmaus defense, and the Sabercats pulled away with a 3-0 victory (21-25, 17-25, 18-25).

"Maranatha played us very well and were deserving of the victory," said Coach Pitman.  "We had a game plan and tried to make adjustments in the match, but they were just too much for us today."

Emmaus received word from the NCCAA National Office on Sunday night that they would join the four Regional Champions and three other at-large selections for the National Tournament.  It will be the Lady Eagles' second National Tournament appearance in only their second season as part of the NCCAA.  "We are honored to have the opportunity to represent Emmaus at nationals," said Coach Pitman.  "I am so proud of our team, we've had an amazing season, and our success has come through an immense amount of hard work.  Every player on the team has stepped up their game this fall, and we have played hard while striving to honor the Lord together.  We have had so much support from our families, fans, and everyone at Emmaus - and we are very grateful that for everyone who is behind us as we go on this last journey of the season."

The Lady Eagles will enter the National Tournament with a 23-4 record and will be the #4 seed in a very competitive field.  Emmaus starts the long journey to Bob Jones University in Greenville next Monday afternoon.  On Wednesday the team will practice, be involved in a Christian service project, and attend the national awards banquet.  Pool play begins on Thursday, November 15th.

Visit www.emmausathletics.com and the Emmaus Athletics Facebook page for updates from the road, and follow the links below for official information from the NCCAA.

NCCAA Press Release

National Championship Site