ATLANTA, Ga. – Guilford College's volleyball team dropped two matches on Friday's first day of the Emory University Classic hosted by the reigning NCAA Division III national champions Emory.
The University of the South (Sewanee) picked up its first victory of the season with a 25-18, 25-20, 25-21 win in Guilford's season opener. Emory, ranked first in the preseason American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) national poll, notched a 25-18, 25-16, 25-11 victory over the Quakers (0-2) to improve to 1-0 on the season.
Sewanee was led by Lilly Reilly's 13 kills and Constance Connolly's 32 assists in the Tigers' opening victory. The first two sets were fairly close before Sewanee strung together a couple of rallies to pull away. Guilford trimmed a seven-point deficit to one in the third set before a 3-0 Tigers' run sealed the win. Led by Reilly's .360 percentage, Sewanee hit .157 as a team, compared to the Quakers' -.040 percentage. Rookie Cam Blankenship paced Guilford's offense with five kills. Teammate Tina Eucker added nine assists and Christian Ritter had 15 digs. Newcomer Jenna Myer contributed five assists and a .333 hitting percentage.
Emory hit .376 as a team but twice had to rally in the three-set win. Guilford held a 16-14 advantage in the first set before the Eagles closed on an 11-2 run. The Quakers raced to an 8-2 edge in the second set, but the hosts battled back with an 8-2 run of their own to tie the score at 10-10. With Guilford holding a 13-12 lead, Emory's Leah Sanders served up eight straight points, which opened a 20-13 Eagles' lead. The 8-0 run fueled a 13-3 Emory rally that ended the set.
Morgan McKnight and Tara Martin led the Eagles' offense with 10 kills apiece, while Cassie Srb added a team-leading 34 assists. Martin hit .562 and Sanders finished with eight putaways on .462 hitting. Guilford's Morgan Tompkins and Blankenship both recorded a team-high four kills. Eucker finished with eight assists and seven digs.
Guilford concludes play in the Emory Classic with an 11:00 a.m. match Saturday (8/31) versus eighth-ranked Johnson & Wales (R.I.) University.