Michael Pierce/ERAU Athletics
After winning the first set, 25-19, the Embry-Riddle volleyball team dropped the next three to suffer a 3-1 defeat (19-25, 25-21, 25-14, 25-20) to visiting Saint Leo on Saturday afternoon. With the result, ERAU falls to 12-9 on the year while the Lions move to 15-6.
Evelina Abdurakhmanova led the Blue and Gold with 15 kills and picked up eight digs while Amanda Saunders contributed eight kills and 12 digs. Caitlyn Ballard collected a team-high 22 digs and added seven assists while Tamires Ferreira racked up 30 assists, 21 digs and seven kills.
The first set was close until a 7-3 run turned a one-point Embry-Riddle lead into a 17-12 advantage. The Lions scored the next three points to close to within a pair, but ERAU pulled away and took the first set, 25-19. The Blue and Gold held the Lions to a .065 attack percentage in the frame, but SLU would hit above .260 in each of the final three sets.
In set two, Saint Leo went on an 8-3 run to extend a one-point lead to a 17-11 margin and didn’t look back, winning the set, 25-21.
Set three saw the visitors jump out to an early 8-2 lead and continue to push to extend the advantage throughout the frame. A Hope Lemon kill built the lead up to double-digits at 19-9 and the Lions cruised to a 25-14 victory, taking a 2-1 lead in the match.
The Blue and Gold scored the first three points of set four, including consecutive service aces from Jordan Nakayama, and held the lead midway through the set at 13-12. The Lions went on a 6-1 run from that point to take an 18-14 lead, but a solo block followed by a kill, both from McKenna James, sparked a 4-0 spurt that tied the score at 18. Another James kill kept the Eagles close at 20-19, but SLU closed out the match on a 5-1 run to win the set, 25-20, clinching the match at three sets to one.
The Eagles are back on the road for two midweek matches next week, beginning with a trip to Melbourne on Tuesday to visit Florida Tech.