ATLANTA - The Worcester State University women's volleyball team dropped a 3-0 (25-12, 25-13, 25-14) decision to the No. 7 Emory Eagles in the first round of the NCAA Division III Atlanta Regional Volleyball Tournament Thursday evening.
November 9, 2017
Woodruff Physical Education Center
Score: Emory 3, Worcester State 0
Records: Emory (28-6) | Worcester State (26-7)
Emory set the pace with a .536 hitting percentage in the first set. The Eagles quickly gained a 5-1 lead, though, the Lancers cut the deficit to three on Emory attack errors moments later. Emory pushed away with Sara Carr (Birmingham, Ala.) at the service and extended the lead to nine with a series of kills from Morgan McKnight (Manassas, Va.). They added to the lead again with Carly Saitman (Hidden Hills, Calif.) at the service, putting the score out of reach for the Lancers. Leah Saunders (Simpsonville, S.C.) and Karissa Dzurik (Columbia, Pa.) recorded a set-high four kills each. Savannah Bush (Las Cruces, N.M.), Saitman and McKnight notched three apiece with 1.000 kill percentage. Worcester State's Emily Carens (Northborough, Mass.) led with two kills, and Allie Nolan (Melrose, Mass.) dug up a team-high three balls.
The Eagles were the first to score in the second set on a kill from Bush. Worcester State tied the game at 1-1 for the first time on a kill from Lauren Murphy (Taunton, Mass.). The Eagles pushed away with a 6-0 run before Worcester notched a point on an Emory attack error. The Lancers battled back-and-forth and kept the Eagles' lead within four. Though, shortly after, the Eagles saw a sequence of kills from Saunders to lengthen the Eagles' lead to 11. Emory held the 11-point gain and concluded the second set with a 25-13 score.
The Lancers saw their first and lone lead of the night at the beginning of the third set when Emory's Elyse Thompson (Tallahassee, Fla.) committed a ball handling error to start. The Eagles knotted the score at 1-1 and 2-2 and then ran away with the lead on kills from Carr and Dzurik. Worcester State kept playing with a positive mindset and remained within six mid-way through the set until the Eagles saw a 7-1 run on kills from McKnight, Carr, Bush, and Dzurik. The third and final set concluded at 25-14.
BY THE BOOK
- Emory's Carr registered a double-double of 10 kills and 10 digs in the win. Dzurik was the team-leader in kills with 12 while Bush, Saunders, and McKnight recorded 9-8-7, respectively. Bush led the team with a .615 kill percentage.
- Mady Arles (Richmond, Va.) registered 21 helpers, while Hannah Billings (Shawnee, Kan.) gathered 19 assists for the Eagles. Thompson led the defense with a game-high 17 digs.
- Worcester State's attack was steered by Amari King (Lawrence, Mass.) who had four kills and two assists. She also registered a team-high eight digs in the setback. Carens logged three kills, while Nolan and Murphy added in two.
- Nolan led the Blue and Gold in hitting percentage (.400) and assists (7). Here and Megan Leavens (Storrs, Conn.) dug up six balls each.
- Emory held a 52-12 advantage in kills.
- The Eagles also notched a .356 team kill percentage, while the Lancers sat at .010.
- Emory held an 8-0 advantage in service aces, and a 7-4 edge in blocks throughout the match.
"I thought we played very well tonight," commented head coach Bernie Chase. "We got off to a slow start, but picked it up in the end and I am proud of the way the team finished tonight."
When questioned about what the team learned from looking at film, Chase mentioned, "We came in knowing that matchups were going to be a problem." There was a height differential, which made it tough to play defense, summarized Chase. "When you don't have blocking up at the net, it's tough to defend.
Chase concluded stating, "Our team really came together this year and worked very hard. It was a pleasure to be with them all season long."
Junior classmates Nolan and King commented on tonight's contest, "We saw hard hitting out there, but once we saw where they were hitting it to, our defense picked it up." King said, "I thought we hustled hard and never gave up."
Nolan said, "The speed of the game was a little faster that we are used to, but we adjusted to it well and played well together as a team."