When two of your front liners record a hitting mark of over 60 percent, one more is at 50 percent and another at 43, your chances of winning are extremely good against any opponent.
Emory University, a powerhouse in NCAA Division III, came into Walker Arena flying high with a 23-match winning streak. They departed the arena nursing a 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-18) loss and suffered only their second defeat (24-2) of the year.
The fifth-ranked Lady Flames extended their winning streak to 11 and will take a 17-2 record back into SSAC action at Southern Wesleyan on Tuesday evening. “We played awfully well tonight,” said assistant coach Kevin Hudson after one of his team’s biggest wins of the season. “We beat an awfully good volleyball team.”
Lee was a picture of consistent play at the net. The balanced attack saw Marija Zelenovic (nine kills, 65% attack percentage) and Irene Ojukwu (nine slams, 62% percentage) frustrating the Eagles the entire match. For the contest, Lee had an overall kill percentage of .386.
The Lady Flames battled through two tight sets before putting the visitors away in the third. But the story goes much deeper than Zelenovic and Ojukwu. Senior Stephanie Todd stepped up her game and hit 50%, with eight kills in 16 attempts. Todd also added a pair of aces and seven digs. Lauren Williams hit 43% and also had seven kills and a pair of nifty blocks.
Veteran setters Gretchen Higdon and Kelsey Leffew set their powerful teammates up for the big kills. Higdon delivered 19 assists and Leffew 16. Arlene Ferreira continued to work her way back into All-American form with eight kills and a team-leading 13 digs.
Lee’s defense limited the Eagles to only one player in double-figure kills and only a 26% hitting mark. Breanah Bourque finished with 10 slams and Amelia McCall pitched in with nine. McCall also had 11 digs and Natalie Schonefeld dished off 32 assists.
After Tuesday’s match, the Lady Flames will face two more serious challenges on Friday, heading for Savannah, Ga. to test No. 2 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) and No. 12 Taylor University (Ind.) in the annual SCAD Classic.