Coming off a 2-2 record in the Lady Blues Fall Classic Tournament, the Hornets looked to continue their winning streak at their most recent game.
The Hornets faced off against the Bearcats of Southwest Baptist University at the third annual “Dig for the Cure” match, where all donations are raised for the local Junebug Foundation. Tuesday was a success as the gym was full of fans wearing pink and supporting Emporia as they faced the Bearcats.
“We knew this was a very important game for us, especially after this weekend, we split 2-2,” said Bing Xu, head coach. “Being a breast cancer event, I told the girls they need to really focus on this game.”
All smiles to start the first set, the Lady Hornets came out strong. Many rallies were played making both teams work to earn every point. Attacks were made by the entire front row of Emporia, but sophomore middle blocker Brianna Kaiser added six kills of her own to discourage the Bearcat defense. The Hornets took the first set 25-22.
“It comes first with a pass, then a great setter,” Kaiser said.
Emporia was pumped when the second set started and they encouraged each other point after point. Blocks were made that shut down the kills from Southwest Baptist and freshman middle blocker Courtney Haring contributed many of them. Emporia was able to win the second set 25-20 over the Bearcats.
“We get really pumped when we get a block so we have been working really hard on them in practice,” Haring said.
To start the third set, the Hornets had a few errors causing them to get behind early. Xu called a timeout at 4-7 to regroup his team for a strong finish. Block after block ESU put fear in the hitters of Southwest Baptist and attacked the nets even harder themselves. The Hornets won in the third set, 25-20.
“We need to learn that after winning the first two sets, we cannot slow down,” Xu said, “but that is something that we are working on. This is volleyball and anything can happen, you must finish strong.”
Emporia defeated Southwest Baptist 3-0. The Hornets stay strong with a winning streak, as this was their 40th straight win against the Bearcats in 42 meetings, with a record of 41-1.
“We keep improving and it is awesome, so we just need to keep it up,” Kaiser said.
The Hornets will square off against the Gorillas of Pittsburgh State University at 7 p.m. on Oct. 7 in Pittsburgh.