Forget its No. 3 national ranking. Never mind it has beaten regional rival Trinity University (Texas) — twice; and wins over those other top 10 Division III schools — well, ignore those too.
This weekend is all that really matters to the volleyball team as it prepares to face arch-nemesis Washington University (Mo.) in the second round of the University Athletic Association round robin tournament.
||Freshman outside hitter Anna Lamont received increased playing time in last weekend's Emory Invitational.
Emory won all four of its matches two weeks ago at the University of Rochester (N.Y.)
Host school New York University, which boasts a new coach and an improved roster, should also prove to be tough competition.
The Eagles will also face Brandeis University (Mass.) and Johns Hopkins University (Md.) on the second day of the weekend.
"This is definitely the tougher half of the UAA tournament," said Head Coach Jenny McDowell.
The Bears have had the Eagles' number since the two teams started playing one another. In 25 matches, the Eagles (20-1) are winless, having only managed to steal four total sets from Wash U.
No. 3 Emory is ranked ahead of No. 5 Wash U. This year looks just as good as any to break the drought against the Bears.
"It'll be a real dogfight with Wash U.," McDowell said. "The match could do either way, but we're preparing for every match the same way. We're just worrying about the quality of our performance."
Phenomenal performances have carried the Eagles to their highest national ranking in school history. Emory's 20 wins this season include victories over No. 6 Trinity, No. 7 College of Mount St. Joseph (Ohio) and No. 13 Wittenberg College (Ohio).
Unfortunately, the Eagles will be heading to New York without their primary setter after losing sophomore Laura Rivera, who sprained her ankle in last Friday's match against Thomas More College (Ky.).
Sophomore Caitlin Crafts, whose outstanding play looks to support the Eagles' offensive line in this weekend's competition, stepped in for Rivera Saturday.
"Caitlin has total confidence in her setting ability, and wasn't phased at all last weekend," McDowell said. "It was good practice for us to have to adapt to the change; it really made us think about playing the game."
"Caitlin did a great job last week, and we know she'll do well this weekend," sophomore outside hitter Amy Hyman said. "We're not concerned about who we do and don't have. We're just thinking how we can play our best."
Senior middle hitters, co-captains Megan Williams and Natalie Towcimak are expected to provide solid attacks for the Eagles, leading the team with 236 and 149 kills, respectively.
Crafts' powerful jump serve will also give Emory a boost, as she will continue to add to her 46 service aces.
The results from this weekend's tournament and the previous weekend of UAA competition will be used to determine the seeding for the UAA championship tournament held Oct. 28-29 at the Woodruff P.E. Center.