Belmont, NC – The Emmanuel men's volleyball team faced Belmont Abbey for their second meeting this year. In their first match, the Crusaders defeated the Lions in 3 sets.
Even though the Lions won the battle in kills and hitting percentage in set one, they weren't able to close it out, allowing the Crusaders to take the set. Set two went to Belmont Abbey as well as the Lions struggled to reduce errors, accumulating 9 in the second set.
In a must win third set, the Lions fought back. Emmanuel took the first point and cruised through the rest of the set, never losing the lead. Set four was another critical set for the Lions who showed a tremendous reduction in errors, only having 3 compared to Belmont Abbey's 8. The Lions closed out set four, forcing the match to the fifth and final set.
Set five started well for the Lions with a couple kills from Steven Peruyero and Jordan Funk. The Crusaders then fired back, taking the lead. The Lions struggled at the hitting line and Belmont Abbey was able to close out the match. The final scores were 25-18, 25-17, 23-25, 22-25, 15-8, Belmont Abbey. The Lions were led by Gilberto Cervantes with 19 kills.
While the Lions fell short in their match against the Crusaders, the night was still very successful. A young Lion's fan showed up to support Emmanuel, particularly his favorite player, Luke Fountain. The 12-year-old setter from Carolina Select Volleyball Club shares something in common with the senior middle blocker, other than love for the same sport, they ironically share the same name. 12-year-old Luke fountain used the night's match as an opportunity to watch live collegiate men's volleyball and meet a college athlete whom he aspires to be like one day. The Middle Blocker from Emmanuel had this to say, "In the middle of my senior year of collegiate volleyball, this is one of the coolest experiences I've ever had. Today I got to meet another Luke Fountain! Blessed to be an inspiration to other volleyball players out there."
Good luck to young Luke Fountain as he continues to develop his skills and pursues his dreams of one day playing collegiate men's volleyball. Being a collegiate athlete is an amazing opportunity and as seen last night, can be more impactful than many realize. The opportunity to serve as an inspiration to others is a small victory in itself.
This loss puts the Lions at 4-8 overall and 2-8 in Conference play. Action will continue for the Lions Saturday Feb. 20th as they face Pfeiffer at Home for the second time this season. Emmanuel was previously defeated 3-1. The first serve is set for 11:00 AM.