By MacKenzie Tuttle, Digital Content Supervisor
MOUNT BERRY, Ga. – On a night veiled in grief and remembrance, the Berry College volleyball team defeated the No. 4 Emory Eagles for the first time in program history.
The Vikings had previously dedicated the evening to the late Karson Beaty, sophomore setter Jordan Leitch's older sister, in honor of her battle with breast cancer and in an effort to raise donations for the Side-Out Foundation. The college also paid tribute during a pregame moment of silence to Berry sophomore David Shankles, who passed away suddenly on Tuesday afternoon.
With heavy hearts and surrounded by nearly 600 members of the Berry community, the Vikings surged to their 12th straight victory of the year behind solid blocking and efficient hitting. Although the Vikings trailed in overall kills 46-38, the Eagles committed 25 attacking errors and hit .145 for the match. Berry hit .192 and added to their national-leading pace with 11 blocks as a team.
Emily Hancock notched a double-double with 12 kills and 11 digs. Carson VanCampen and Hannah Billiard, the top two blockers in the nation, had six and five blocks respectively. Berry also benefitted from strong play from Hannah Kate Thompson (34 assists) and Elizabeth Ragland (20 digs).
- Emily Hancock: 12 K, 11 D, .257 K%
- Carson VanCampen: 9 K, 6 B, .333 K%
- Hannah Billiard: 8 K, 5 B, .200 K%
- Hannah Kate Thompson: 34 A, 2 SA, 8 D, 4 B
- Elizabeth Ragland: 20 D
- Sydney Leimbach: 12 K, 5 B
- Leah Saunders: 11 K, 15 D
- Mady Aries: 29 A, K, 5 D
- Elyse Thompson: 18 D, 3 A
- With the win, Berry improves to 17-3 overall on the year, while Emory falls to 17-3.
- The Vikings have not last a match since their September 9th loss to Johns-Hopkins University, blanking 10 of their last 12 competitors.
- On the year, the Vikings hold 10 spots in the top-five rankings of the Southern Athletic Association.
- In 14 years of Volleyball, this is the first time Berry has defeated Emory.
Berry will host Birmingham-Southern College in their next matchup on Saturday, Oct. 14 at 1:00 p.m.