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Emory Athletics | November 21, 2014

Emory advances to the semifinals with 3-1 victory against Williams

  Emory has a semifinal date with Wisconsin-Stevens Point on Saturday following a win against Williams.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- Emory has advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Division III championships following a Friday afternoon quarterfinal1 victory against Williams College.  The Eagles boosted their winning streak to 13 matches and raised their overall record to 38-3 following a 3-1 win (25-16, 25-16, 26-28, 25-17) against the Ephs who closed out their campaign with a record of 28-5.  The Championships are being held in Newport News, Virginia, and hosted by Christopher Newport University.

The Emory offense was firing on all cylinders throughout the contest, hitting a season-high .453 (71-9—137) compared to the Ephs' effort of .257 (50-12—148), the 39th time this year that the Eagles had outhit their opposition.  Emory's 71 terminations tied a season high set earlier in the campaign vs. Mary Hardin-Baylor (Sept. 6).

Senior Leah Jacobs highlighted a balanced attack that saw four players finish with double-digit kills totals, recording 21 successful attack attempts en route to finishing with a .559 hitting effort (21-2—34).  It was Jacobs' 26th performance of 10 or more kills this season and fifth of 20 or more.  Jacobs also cracked the 1,000 career-kills plateau during the match and will enter Saturday's action with 1,010 to her credit.   Sophomore Jessica Holler hit .407, her 18th match this year of .400 or higher, pounding out a season-high tying 15 kills.  Senior Cat McGrath and sophomore Sarah Maher came up big with the pair teaming up to hit .552 with 21 kills and no errors in 38 swings.  McGrath blitzed the Ephs with a .625 hitting afternoon (10-0—16) while Maher checked in with a .500 showing (11-0—22), while also chipping in 14 digs.

Junior setter Sydney Miles kept the Eagles' offense humming by doling out a season-high tying 56 assists, her eighth match of 50 or more this season.  Miles also added seven kills and nine digs to the cause.  Senior Kate Bowman led all players with 21 digs, helping the Eagles to a 74-47 advantage in that category, and in the process became the program's single-season leader with 664, bettering the previous standard of 653 held by Taylor Erwin (2012).

Emory will meet No. 6-ranked Wis.-Stevens Point (33-4) in the semis on Saturday starting at 5:00 p.m.  The Pointers advanced to the semis after battling to a 3-2 decision over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the quarterfinals.

In the first set, Emory hits a blistering .643 (18-0—28) and is led by Jacobs who closes out the game with seven terminations while Holler adds five. Holding an 11-9 lead, the Eagles go on a 7-1 spurt, with Jacobs coming up with two kills and an ace, that stretches their cushion to 18-10 … Holler and Jacobs account for the team's final four points of the set with two terminations each to close out the game.

After picking up one kill in the first game, sophomore Kathryn Trinka comes up with five terminatios in helping Emory to a 2-0 lead in the match. The Eagles continue with their hot hitting, notching a .412 percentage (17-3—34). The Ephs bolt out to a 7-2 lead following a kill by Raea Rasmussen, but Emory responds with a 6-2 run that cuts its deficit to one point. After Williams takes a 10-8 lead,  the Eagles rattle off a 7-1 charge, with five different players picking up kills, to take a 15-11 lead … After Williams cuts the Emory lead to 15-13,  the Eagles counter with four unanswered points to claim a 19-13 lead. Holding a 20-15 margin, the Emory closes out the set on a 5-1 run, capped by a service ace by senior Olivia Volarich.

In the third set, Jacobs hit .636 with seven kills and no errors in 11 attempts while McGrath chimes in with four terminations. Emory led by a 7-4 count but saw the Ephs post a 9-2 scoring spurt that puts them ahead, 13-9. Kills by Jacobs and Miles help Emory battle back to deadlock the score at 16-16. Trailing by a 19-20 margin, a Jacobs kill and a service ace by Holler key a 4-0 run that puts Emory ahead, 23-20. Williams regrouped and scores the next three points, knotting things up at 23-23. An ace by the Ephs' Tori Jasuta gave WC set point at 26-25, but a kill by Maher keept Emory alive. Williams scored the next two points to force a fourth set.

Emory never trailed in what proves to be the final set of the match. A Miles kill capped a 4-0 Emory run, giving the Eagles a 7-2 lead. Following a Williams point, kills by McGrath and Maher are part of a 3-0 spurt that extends the Eagles' lead to 10-3. Emory holds a 13-5 advantage before Williams countered by scoring eight of the next 10 points to creep within 15-13. Jacobs stems the Ephs' comeback bid with back-to-back kills that doubles the Emory lead. The Eagles held a 19-16 edge before five consecutive points to put them one point from the match. Claire Miller keeps Williams alive with a kill but Holler concludes the match with a successful attack attempt.