How Emma Granger became RMU Volleyball’s “One-Woman Wrecking Crew”


Emma Granger gets set for a point during her final match as a Colonial. Photo credit: Tyler Gallo

Michael Deemer

In her final volleyball match on Sunday, Emma Granger, the school leader in blocks and service aces, had a tearful senior recognition ceremony.

“I don’t think it has fully hit me yet that it’s all done and that this chapter is closing,” Granger told Colonial Sports Network following the ceremony. “I’m just really proud of the crew that I’ve had and so grateful to what volleyball has given me so lots of tears but we’ll see when it hits me.”

Granger played five years at RMU, using her extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA following the pandemic. She played in 124 matches with 1,262 kills with 2.74 kills per set.

The Dalton, Ohio native shared that she didn’t know much about the program and just looking for somewhere to play.

“All I wanted was for someone to give me an opportunity and the coaching staff certainly gave me that opportunity. When I came in, I just wanted to do the best I could and take advantage of it.”

Interim head coach Danny Doherty saw all five years of Granger’s tenure as a Colonial firsthand, being the assistant, and was also emotional seeing her step off the hardwood one final time.

“She’s always been our one-woman wrecking crew,” Doherty said. “She’s always been one I can count on. You turn to Emma in tough scenarios, you turn to Emma in tough situations. She’s an enforcer on the court. The thing I’m going to miss most about her celebrations. After each one, we have to check the floorboards to make sure she doesn’t break any, but she wears her emotions on her face and I loved every minute of it.”

Doherty also spoke about the person behind the fiery on-court celebrations.

“She’s one of the greatest I’ve ever met and I hope to have a long relationship moving forward. She meant a lot to the program, to me, and she set a foundation of what to expect out of a leader.”

It’s been a long ride for Granger in her career as a Colonial. A change in the conference and stadium, a late-season coaching change and breaking school records, but when asked about her favorite memory, it was her 2019 NEC Player of the Year campaign. It was by far her and the Colonials’ best season in the Granger era.

“We’ve all talked about it forever,” she said. “That was just a really good group of people because it was a record-breaking year for everyone. It was just a lot of fun to be in that environment. Every day is just a great day and I’m grateful for everything.”

As Granger walks out of the UPMC Events Center for the final time, after not knowing a lot about the school and the program, she reflects on her time in Moon Township while shedding a few tears.

“This program means a lot to me. The people I’ve met have meant a lot. Being here and seeing it transform into a different program, and just seeing RMU change in general with the Events Center, it’s been a cool opportunity, and will forever be grateful for it. I will always love this place. It will always have a special place in my heart.”

Emma Granger was truly the ruler of the hardwood here at RMU. Despite a rocky end to her tenure here, it was always exciting to see her on the court whether it was using her tall frame with a powerful spike or block at the net or having her serve to go untouched to the other side, she may go down as one of the best to ever suit up as a Colonial.