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As the weather heated up and the academic year came to a close, several athletic squads finished the year in fine fashion.
Men’s volleyball entered the season ranked 14th in the country but quickly fell out of the polls after a few losses to challenging NCAA Division II teams. The Royals lost just one match against teams in their division to earn a first round bye at the North East Collegiate Volleyball Association Western Division tournament, which they hosted April 1-2. EMU placed third to advance to the conference tournament. The Royals upset nationally-ranked MIT before falling to second-seeded Rivier. EMU closed the season at 13-8 and reappeared in the final national poll at 11th.
Junior Josh Kerr, Harleysville, Pa., led the team with 3.38 kills per game and hit at a .349 clip. Sophomore Dominick Porter, Hopewell, Va., hit a team-best .400 with 3.07 kills and 0.75 blocks per game. Sophomore libero Ryan Detweiler, Telford, Pa., ranked in the top 10 nationally with 4.19 digs per game while freshman Ben Yoder, Lederach, Pa., averaged 2.47 digs per game and ranked in the top 10 with 11.92 assists per game. EMU softball went 17-14 overall and 6-10 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. It was the best overall winning percentage for the program since 1992 and the best ODAC mark since 1997.
The Lady Royals tied for sixth place but narrowly missed the ODAC tournament on the tiebreaker. Senior second baseman Erin Partee, Stryker, Ohio, earned Second Team All-Conference accolades and led the team with a .402 batting average after entering the season as a career .213 hitter. Freshman catcher Miranda White, Verona, Va., earned Honorable Mention All-Conference honors after hitting .347 with 12 doubles, two home runs, and a team-best 27 RBI.
The Royals’ baseball squad got off to a solid start at 6-2 and won five of seven games at the 2005 Sarasota Spring Classic. However, EMU dropped its next eight games to slide to 6-10. The Royals finished the season at 13-21 overall and 5-13 in the ODAC for a ninth-place finish. Junior center fielder Cole Thornton, Massanutten, Va., claimed Honorable Mention All-Conference honors and led EMU in several offensive categories, including runs (33), hits (48), home runs (3), and stolen bases (12). He ranked 16th in the ODAC in batting average and sixth in stolen bases.
Fresh off her indoor track and field All-America performance in the pole vault, junior Megan Mlinarchik, Broadway, Va., continued her success in the outdoor season. She captured the ODAC championship in both the pole vault and the high jump. Senior Wendy Driver, Harrisonburg, Va., took first place in the triple jump while junior Amanda Renalds, Bridgewater, Va., captured first in the shot put. Sophomore sprinter Jeremy Webster, Yorktown, Va., won the 400-meter dash. First-year Andrew Grubb, Bristow, Va., claimed the trophy in the 400-meter hurdles, and junior Joel Shradley, Harrisburg, Pa., earned the title in the javelin throw.
On the tennis courts, the Lady Royals went 6-12 overall and 2-9 in ODAC matches. At the ODAC tournament, EMU placed 10th of 12 teams. Freshman Laurelyn Foderaro, Harleysville, Pa., finished in fifth place in the #1 singles flight, the best finish of any EMU competitor. She also teamed with sophomore Debbie Boese, Harrisonburg, Va., for a fifth-place finish at #1 doubles. In the men’s competition, the Royals went 5-10 overall and 2-7 in the ODAC. Senior Drew Foderaro, Harleysville, Pa., had the best showing at the conference championship with a sixth place finish at #1 singles.
—Kevin Warner, sports information director