ROANOKE, Va. – It was fitting that, with the way this team has fought this year, the final home match and, a potential historic match at that, would come down to five sets.
In the end, however, history will have to wait as Emory & Henry took a five set thriller from Hollins 3-2 (25-23, 20-25, 25-21, 18-25, 13-15).
How It Happened
Hollins (12-11, 2-7 ODAC) came into Tuesday's match needing just one more win to set the program record for most W's in a season. And after the first set, it looked like they were well on their way. E&H jumped out to an early 10-6 lead but HU used a 6-0 run, highlighted by a kill and three aces from Kenna Esquibel to take a 12-10 advantage. After the Wasps tied things at 12, Hollins went on a 5-0 run this time, this time thanks to two kills from Tyler Sesker and one from Charlie Vollmers, to pull ahead 17-13. E&H went on their own run late, eventually tying things at 22 and 23, but a block from Vollmers and Sesker, along with a Kiki Speights kill, gave HU a 25-23 win.
Set two started out much the same, as Emory & Henry jumped out to a quick lead and kept it until late in the set. After an E&H error tied the set at 20, the Wasps went on a 5-0 run to take the set and tie the match.
The Green and Gold got ahead to start set two, thanks to a strong service points from Amanda Mink, and kept a lead throughout the majority of the set. But after Emory & Henry stormed back to take a 21-20 lead, Hollins used a pair of Wasp errors, along with kills from Vollmers, Zoe Brooks and Sesker to take set three.
With set four tied at nine apiece, E&H went on a 9-1 run, from which HU couldn't recover. They were able to pull within four at 22-18, but the Wasps shut the door to tie the match and force the deciding set.
Emory & Henry used a quick start to take a lead in the final frame but Hollins continued to fight, pulling within two at 10-8. After a bit of back and forth, and E&H having match point at 14-10, Hollins used a block, an error and an ace to bring the score to 14-13. But a Wasp kill ended the match and kept Hollins on the wrong side of history, for now.
Offensively, HU was led by Esquibel and Hannah Arthur, who had eight kills apiece. Sesker had seven. Brooks led the way with 17 assists while Casey Mahan had 14 to go along with 16 digs, giving her a double-double on the night. Hannah Piatak led the defense with 22 digs while Mink had 12 and Esquibel had 11.
Hollins will hit the road on Friday and head to Mid-Atlantic Christian for a 6:30 pm matchup.