No.1 Emory Holds on to Beat No. 5 Christopher Newport in Five-Set Thriller
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St. Louis, Mo., November 19, 2010 – Top-ranked Emory University survived a five-set thriller to beat fifth-ranked Christopher Newport University 3-2 (20-25, 25-20, 25-23, 23-25, 15-11) in the 2010 NCAA Division III quarterfinals on Friday, Nov. 19, at the Washington University Field House in St. Louis, Mo.
The Eagles return to the NCAA semifinals after a one-year absence, and will face either No. 3 Washington University in St. Louis or No. 15 New York University on Saturday, Nov. 20, at 6 p.m.
Breanah Bourque and Jessica McAlvaney led the Eagle offense with 19 and 14 kills apiece. Emory setter Natalie Schonefeld registered 50 assists, seven digs and six kills, including the match-clincher to end the fifth set. Caitlyn Jansen, 16 kills, Kara Elder, 15 kills, and Bailey Jensen, 11 kills, led Christopher Newport.
Emory jumped out to an early 7-3 lead against the Captains but Christopher Newport survived the initial surge and came back to tie the score at 9-9 as setter Jessie Heavenrich and Jensen recorded a block on an Alena Ransom attack.
Christopher Newport moved ahead by one point thanks to an Alexandra Wright hitting error, and took a two-point lead with a kill from Jensen, prompting Emory head coach Jenny McDowell to call a timeout. The Captains continued to hold on to the lead, moving ahead by as many as five points, 23-18, as Jensen and Heavenrich combined for a block once again, this time on a Jessica McAlvany swing.
CNU went on to take the opening frame by a five-point margin, registering five team blocks while Emory committed seven attack errors.
The two top-five teams traded jabs to start the second set before Emory used a 9-1 run to take control of the action. Schonefeld was the driving force behind the Eagles’ surge, recording a kill on an overpass to put her team up by two, and another kill two points later to create a three-point cushion.
Schonefeld finished the second set with three kills, 11 assists and three digs. Jensen had two hitting errors and Bourque tallied two kills during that decisive second-set run.
After a slow start to the match, Emory’s American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) National Player of the Year Amelia McCall began to warm up in the third set, recorded kills on consecutive points to give Emory a 7-5 lead and spark a 5-1 run.
Heavenrich set up Christie Fellows for a kill later in the third cutting the Emory lead to just one and the Captains scored four-straight points just a few moments later to retake the lead. Schonefeld was whistled for a back-row block, making the score 19-19, and CNU pulled ahead on a Kara Elder kill.
Emory won the next two points to retake the lead and pulled ahead by two, 22-20, as Wright tipped a shot over the Christopher Newport block and the Eagles held on for the two-point win.
Bourque helped Emory jump out to a 10-5 lead in the fourth set, registering four kills to start the frame. Facing a 10-5 deficit, Christopher Newport called a timeout and quickly took five points in a row and came back and knot the score at 10-10 as Heavenrich dumped a ball behind her head into a gap in the Eagle defense.
Following an Emory timeout, the duo of Heavenrich and Jensen combined for yet another block, this time knocking back a McAlvaney attack, and the CNU lead was one. The Captains maintained a one to two point lead until late in the match when sophomore Abby Hogge recorded an ace off the hands of Molly Landers to put her team ahead by three.]
Emory made a late charge as McCall tipped a shot for a kill into the middle of the court, and Ransom pulled the Eagles within one just one play later. But Heavenrich set up Jansen for the set clincher and her 14th kill, to force a fifth set. Christopher Newport had six team blocks in the fourth-set win, limiting Emory to just a .159 percentage on the attack.
Like the rest of the match preceding it, the fifth set began as a back and forth battle before Bourque and McCall helped Emory take an 8-6 lead at the switchover with two kills apiece. Emory stretched its lead to three points thanks to a Lindsay Stephens ball handling error and pulled ahead by four thanks to a kill from Wright, and that margin proved to be too much to overcome for CNU.
Christopher Newport finished the match with 14 blocks as a team and Jansen led the way with eight. Landers had 30 digs for the Eagles and Hogge paced the CNU defense with 31 digs. Heavenrich finished the match with 46 assists, 15 digs, six blocks and three kills.