VIRGINIA BEACH --- Momentum sided with Virginia Wesleyan College's Marlins late in the third game of Tuesday's Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) volleyball game at the Jane P. Batten Student Center.
Eastern Mennonite University's Royals seemed to be grabbing control of the game with a 20-16 lead. But, that all changed in a matter of minutes as VWC senior Tempe Martens (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park), junior Alex Lambert (Alexandria/Hayfield) and rookie Tiffany Barrett (Stafford/North Stafford) emerged with crucial point-producing plays.
The Marlins turned a 20-16 defict into a 24-20 lead and went on to post a 25-21 game victory that helped Virginia Wesleyan to a 3-1 match decision. EMU, which has not defeated VWC in the 11-match series, stunned the Marlins with a 25-17 opening-game win. Virginia Wesleyan battled back to win 25-19, 25-21 and 25-20 to improve to 8-5 overall and to 2-1 in the league. EMU fell to 6-7 and 2-2.
Virginia Wesleyan's third game experience with the Royals was nearly duplicated in the fourth game. Led by sophomore D Probst (Willow Street, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite), Dani Driver (Cheverly, Md./Elizabeth Seton) and McKenna Carter (Waynesboro, Va./Stuarts Draft), EMU opened up a 4-1 lead and stayed closed most of the game. Kelsey Caviston (Laxena/Warhill), Marin Crowder (Charlottesville/Crozet Western Albemarle), Martins and Barrett pushed the Marlins into a 13-8 lead and EMU never got closer than three points the rest of the way. VWC led 23-17 late.
Game two was all Virginia Wesleyan. After a couple of early ties, VWC opened up a 13-8 lead and eventually extended that to 21-12. The first game was controlled by EMU, which consistently expanded a lead, helped by Rachel Kennell (Parkersburg, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite), Rebecca Hardy (Port Republic, Va./Eastern Mennonite), and Driver. The Royals led 19-9 at one point of the game.
Barrett led all players at the net, recording 15 kills. Caviston and Martens produced eight each. Amberlyn Daglian (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown) andKirstin Sessoms (Virginia Beach/Bayside) contributed to the win with 20 and 17 assists, respectively, while Crowder led the game with 26 digs and four aces.
Probst led EMU with 13 kills, Driver finished with 37 assists and Alena Yoder (Elkhart, Ind./Bethany Christian) and Katie Miller (San Antonio, Texas/Brandei) had 16 digs each.
Virginia Wesleyan competes again on Saturday, Sept. 21, in ODAC competition at Hollins University at 2:30 p.m.