LYNCHBURG, Virginia (EMUEagles.com) –The Eastern Michigan University volleyball team lost its final game of the Liberty University tournament on Saturday, Sept. 17, in straight sets to the Flames in non-conference action at Liberty Arena.
The 3-0 loss moved Eastern Michigan to 1-11 overall and closed the lid on the non-conference season.
Senior Krista Blakely (Detroit, Michigan – University Academy) finished with six kills on the day to lead the Eagles offense. The team received 12 freshman digs Emma McMahon (Monroeville, Indiana-Bellmont) with six sophomore blocks Mekayla Koger (Mansfield, TX-Lake Ridge-State of Sam Houston) to lead them defensively.
How did it happen
SET 1 | The Eagles fell behind early, losing the first set 25-20. Eastern Michigan trailed by as much as nine points as Liberty never gave up the lead in a set that was tied only once before the Flames took control.
SET 2 | Eastern then lost the second set 25-14 to fall behind in the match two sets to nil.
SET 3 | UEM could not extend the match and lost in the third set. The Eagles lost the set 25-22 despite a strong performance from the attacking side. Eastern Michigan had a .303 attack percentage with 12 kills in the set loss.
McMahon had a team record with two aces in the loss. Both service aces rank among the rookie’s career bests. Also earn service aces on the match with one each was both a grad student Callie Minshew (Brandon, Mississippi-State of Brandon-Mississippi) and Kendall Burk (Bloomington, Illinois-University). Both hold the season record of 4 aces in a single game.
Koger had six blocks against the Flames. The sophomore tied his previously set game record of six blocks against Xavier University on Sept. 3. Samantha Basham (Granville, Ohio-Newark Catholic) and Blakely each produced three saves apiece to add to the Eagles’ 15 total blocks.
Blakely had a team-best six eliminations for Eastern Michigan, adding to his career tally of 395 eliminations. The senior is only four eliminations away from her next career milestone of 400 eliminations.
The Green and White picked up a record 12 recoveries from McMahon for their tenth consecutive game with double-digit numbers in recoveries. The rookie currently leads the Eagles in digs with 187.
Burk earned a game-high assists record with 14 assists. The Illinois native recorded 152 assists behind his teammate Olivia Szylar (Itasca, Ill.-Lake Park) in total assists which leads with 305.
In their first meeting, the Flames take an all-time series record 1-0 over the Eagles.
The three-set loss was only the third time in the 2022 season that the Eagles have been swept away by their opponent. The last time the Greens and Whites lost in three was the day before, Sept. 16, against Coppin State University.
» Assistant Head Coach Darcy Dorton, the Green and White are now 1-2 this season in matches decided by three sets and 12-20 on aggregate.
The Eastern Michigan volleyball team will open its Mid-American Conference game Thursday, September 22, against the University of Toledo Rockets. The game will take place at the George Gervin GameAbove Center as it will also play as Eastern’s home opener. The contest is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast via ESPN+.