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Emory sports teams look forward to strong fall seasons

After advancing to the NCAA D-III Championships match for the third time in seven years in 2014, the Emory volleyball team looks to reload while maintaining its reputation as one of the top collegiate programs. Head coach Jenny McDowell returns 11 letter-winners from last season's squad that posted a 39-4 won-lost slate and made its 19th consecutive trip to the postseason.

Headlining the returnees is senior setter Sydney Miles, a three-time All-American, who paced the University Athletic Association and ranked 12th nationally in assists. Junior middle Jessica Holler is primed for another big season after garnering Second Team All-America acclaim for the second consecutive year after leading the UAA in both hitting percentage and blocks per set.

Also, look for junior right side Sarah Maher to continue her ascension following her emergence as a key contributor, culminating in Honorable Mention All-America kudos.

Women's Soccer

With five straight NCAA Tournament appearances, and seven in the past eight seasons, the Emory women's soccer team will aim for another spot in the postseason. While graduation plucked eight members of last season's team that fashioned an overall slate of 11-2-6, the team still includes a solid group of veterans, plus a talented cast of newcomers.

Senior goalkeeper Liz Arnold, a member of the All-UAA Second Team, promises to make it tough for the opposition to find the back of the Eagles' net after drawing 18 starting assignments and ranking 15th nationally in goals-against average. Senior Ally Peterson, a Third Team All-South Atlantic choice a year ago, will continue to figure prominently in the team's defensive efforts. One of the team's primary offensive threats will be junior Cristina Ramirez, who tied for the No. 1 spot on the team's score sheet with 16 points on the strength of five goals and six assists. 

Men's Soccer

The Emory men's soccer team will look to extend its streak of 13 straight double-digit win seasons while striving for a second consecutive postseason berth. Head coach Sonny Travis enters his ninth year at the helm of the program with this veteran-dominated squad that wound up 2014 with a 13-4-2 record.

With six of the team's top seven scorers back in the fold, the Eagles should field a potent offensive attack, spearheaded by senior Sebastian Hardington, who produced a team-best 16 points last year. Junior Jason Andrejchak hopes for a strong follow-up to last year's effort that saw him notch 15 points. 

Senior back Matt Sherr, a Third Team All-American last year, is back to shore up the defensive corps, while senior Abe Hannigan returns as the incumbent at the goalkeeping position after ranking among the top 30 nationally in goals-against average. 

Women's Cross Country

A perennial power in the South/Southeast Region, the Emory women's cross country squad will have a number of young faces moving into more prominent roles as it looks to secure its 11th consecutive berth to the NCAA Championships.

Head coach John Curtin heads into his 30th campaign looking to replace three of his top five runners from a year ago, but the experience that a number of his young performers gained last year could help make this one of his deepest and most competitive units in a number of years. 

Fifth-year senior Elise Viox headlines the veteran cast after earning all-region honors last season. Junior Sophie Cemaj and the sophomore tandem of Halle Markel and Gabrielle Rudolph distinguished themselves throughout the 2014 campaign and figure to continue their development.   

Men's Cross Country

The Emory men's cross country team is thirsting for more success following last year's campaign that saw the program win its first regional crown since 2009 while making its second straight trip to the NCAA Championships.

Senior Lukas Mees, a two-time all-region and national competitor, was a model of consistency for the Eagles last year, ranking among the team's top three finishers in all eight of his competitions. Junior Grant Murphy, the program's Most Improved Runner Award recipient in 2014, finished strong down the stretch, racing to all-region honors and scoring in all eight Emory meets.  Sophomore Jordan Flowers is coming off a strong rookie campaign that saw him capture all-region accolades.

For schedules and information, please visit Emory Athletics.

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