Guilford Volleyball Suffers Pair of Setbacks to Royals, Wasps

Guilford Volleyball Suffers Pair of Setbacks to Royals, Wasps

EMORY, Va. – The Guilford volleyball team suffered a pair of 3-0 setbacks to ODAC rivals Eastern Mennonite and Emory & Henry on Saturday, March 27th, when the three teams met in a tri-match in Emory, Va.

EASTERN MENNONITE 3, GUILFORD 0

Eastern Mennonite (3-3, 3-3 ODAC) earned a 3-0 victory over the Quakers by scores of 25-11, 25-18, 25-21 in the opening match of the day for Guilford. The Royals, who drove home 36 kills, were led individually by the duo of Paris Hutchinson (14 kills) and Hannah Johnson (eight). Tori Wigley dished out a match-high 34 assists while teammate Abby Kaufman was responsible for a team-best nine digs.

Cam Blankenship, who tallied eight kills, was the top offensive player for Guilford in the match. Defensively, Bryce Smith added 11 digs and Vanessa Johnson assisted on three blocks.

After reaching a five-all tie early in the opening set, Eastern Mennonite recorded five kills in the next 17 points and fought past a series of kills by Guilford's Hannah Stout to establish a 16-11 lead. The Royals took advantage of five errors throughout the remainder of the set to grab the 25-11 win.

Eastern Mennonite rolled out to an 8-1 lead early in the second set, capitalizing on the service game of Lizzy Kirkton. Blankenship slammed home a kill to provide Guilford with its second point, but the Royals eventually stretched their lead to 13-4 on a kill by Johnson. Trailing 20-11, Guilford's defensive effort resulted in four straight points, trimming the margin to 20-15, but four miscues down the stretch made for a 25-18 EMU victory.

Hutchinson used her service game to help EMU stretch its three-point lead to five early in the third set. Kirkton came through with back-to-back kills, making for a 16-11 score, but Stout and Blankenship continued to keep the Quakers in the match as they trailed 19-15 late. The Quakers made one final push, trimming the deficit to 22-20 on a series of errors, but were unable to complete the comeback in the four-point setback.

EMORY & HENRY 3, GUILFORD 0

Emory & Henry wrapped up the afternoon session with a 25-20, 25-15, 25-21 victory over the Quakers.

Cam Blankenship was the again the top offensive producer for the Quakers (1-4, 1-4 ODAC), driving home nine of the team's 19 kills while adding four digs. Carson Evans handed out 16 assists and Bryce Smith anchored the back row with 12 digs while Avery Lemons contributed nine. Khaira Bolden emerged with two solo and two assisted blocks to lead the Quakers up front.

The Wasps (2-3, 2-3 ODAC) were led on the offensive end by Savanah Keesee, Keely Doyle and Hannah Watson, who posted seven kills apiece. Sarah Moore was one of the defensive leaders with 12 digs, while Doyle added three assisted blocks to anchor the front row.

A 5-1 lead early by the Quakers, established after an assisted block by Bolden and Carson Evans, was followed by a 6-0 run by Emory & Henry, who moved out in front 7-5. The game eventually reached an 11-all deadlock before a series of points by the Wasps resulted in a 15-11 advantage. Guilford trimmed the margin to two on two occasions, the latter coming at 20-18, before Emory & Henry completed the five-point win.

Guilford capitalized on kills by Bolden and Blankenship, jumping out to a 4-3 lead, but the Wasps bounced back an fought past a seven-all deadlock to move in front 14-9 at just over the midway point. That lead grew to 21-13, following a kill by Keesee, but Blankenship answered with a kill of her own that kept Guilford alive. The Quakers managed just one point down the stretch, while E&H added kills by Keesee and Ashley Clayton down the stretch to make for a 10-point win.

The back-and-forth third game in the opening stages was grabbed by the Wasps on a slam from Keese. Guilford answered with a Bryce Smith service ace, keeping the margin at one, 10-9, but the Wasps answered with a 7-1 run that stretched to seven. Bolden and Blankenship added two kills for Guilford, but it was not enough to offset the Wasps, who claimed the match with a 25-15 win.

Guilford volleyball continues its season on Thursday, April 8th when the Quakers host Roanoke for a 7 p.m. match. For more information on Guilford volleyball check out www.guilfordquakers.com.