(Story courtesy of Colorado College Athletics)
ATLANTA, Ga. - For the second year in a row Emory University ended Colorado College's season and its run in the NCAA Volleyball Championship with a 3-0 victory, this time in the Regional Championship match on Sunday afternoon.
The Tigers were led behind an outstanding all-American performance by senior outside hitter Jordan Mullen with 10 kills. This was the 13th time this season and the 34th time in her career that she scored double-digit kills.
Senior Lizzy Counts dished out a team-high 30 assists and had a hand on four blocks. The setter finished her career with 4,170 assists to become only the second player in program history to hand out over 4,000 assists.
Despite the strong performance by CC's seniors, the Eagles used its home court advantage and key second-set victory to earn a 25-20, 29-27, 25-21 victory over the Tigers. Emory remained perfect at home with a 20-0 record and improved to 32-2 on the season as it advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals.
Emory's offense was led by senior outside hitter Morgan McKnight who led all players with 19 kills on a .400 attack percentage. Freshman setter Cassie Srb ran the Eagle's offense on a match-high 40 assists.
Senior defensive specialist Haley Harris gave CC a 15-14 lead on an ace midway through the first set, but a kill by Finn Wilkins ignited a 3-0 run to put Emory ahead 17-15. A block by sophomore middle hitter Georgia Mullins pulled the Tigers to within a point at 19-18, however the Eagles used a 4-0 run to retake control of the set and take an early 1-0 lead.
During the second set which proved pivotal, Colorado College was down 23-21 on a kill by Emory's McKnight. Mullen answered with a kill, and an attack error by the Eagles evened the set at 23-23. Emory held a 26-25 lead, but two offensive errors gave CC a 27-26 advantage.
Maggie Rimmel and McKnight combined for a block to tie the set once more and an attack error by the Tigers gave Emory a 28-27 lead. McKnight sealed the victory on a kill to put the Eagles ahead 2-0.
Emory took that momentum into the third set as it held a 23-17 advantage. CC attempted a late comeback when senior middle hitter Marguerite Spaethling hit a kill to ignite a 4-0 run and pull the Tigers to within 23-21. A service error ended the run and an ace by Srb handed the Eagles the third-set win.
Colorado College ended its season with a 32-5 record. The Tigers' seniors ended their career with a combined 125-16 record with four appearances in the NCAA Championship and two appearances in the NCAA Regional Championships.