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Randolph Completes Cougar Invitational

Randolph Completes Cougar Invitational

For Immediate Release – 9/4/16 - #027
Randolph Completes Cougar Invitational

DANVILLE, VA – The Randolph College volleyball team finished up play at the 22nd Annual Cougar Invitational.  The team played well, but fell 3-0 to Frostburg State University and Averett University on Sunday.

The 'Cats opened up the afternoon playing FSU on the side court.  The WildCats hung close in each set, falling 21-25 in the first two games, before dropping the third 20-25.  Alex Mariona played very well in front of the net, recording seven kills and only one error.  She hit .300 for the match.

The team played well defensively, recording 57 digs in the match.  Sam Verhaagen led the way once again with 13 in the game.  Autumn Troxell also posted double-digit digs (11).  Brooks Gillerlain did well in her double-duty, digging eight balls and assisting on 18 kills in the match.

The team came back from the match against the Bearcats with a game against the hosts in the finale of the tournament.  Randolph looked strong, but fell in close sets of 23-25, 19-25, and 23-25.

Both sides went back and forth early on in the first set, but the Cougars were the first to push the advantage, at one point leading by seven near the mid-point.  The WildCats responded with an 11-4 run to tie the score at 20-all.  It was highlighted by the attackers in the front row, as Troxell notched three kills, with Shelby Bergum, Rebecca Lesnak, Olivia Pullin, and Mariona all finishing one.  After going down two, the 'Cats tallied three straight, but AU came back to finish off the game.

The second set played out very similar as points were traded in the early goings, with those same forwards keeping Randolph close.  However, just as in the first, Averett went on a run to establish a large lead (nine points).  The 'Cats made a late run of their own, as Gillerlain served an ace, while Troxell and Bergum added kills, but there was not enough time.  AU used its early lead to secure the win in the second set.

The WildCats came out strong in the third, scoring six of the first seven points.  Troxell was the server for most of them, as she recorded an ace during this period.  Kennedy Webb also recorded a kill in that time frame.  Following a small burst by the hosts, Randolph responded once again to push its lead to 17-11.  That run was fueled by several players.  Webb posted two aces and two kills.  Mariona added two kills and a block (assisted by Bergum), while Morgan had two kills as well.  But, the Cougars answered with nine of the next 12, tying the score at 20.  The teams traded points, as Troxell slammed home three more passes, but it was to no avail.

Troxell led the 'Cats with 11 kills and eight digs.  Verhaagen was solid again with 11 digs, and Gillerlain finished the four-game tournament with over 100 assists (19 in the finale).

Randolph (1-3 overall) hosts its home opener this Wednesday.  The WildCats will welcome Salem College (2-2) for a 7 p.m. tilt.