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WildCats Fall to Virginia Wesleyan, 3-1, in Home Opener

Autumn Troxell digs the ball

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Despite winning the first set, the Randolph College volleyball team ultimately fell to Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) rival Virginia Wesleyan University 3-1 (26-24, 19-25, 22-25, 11-25) in its home opener on Friday evening in the RAD Center.

The opening set held a close score for most of the time until the WildCats pushed a 7-2 run for a 24-19 advantage. However, the Marlins rallied with a 5-0 spurt to level the score at 24-all. After a brief timeout called by Randolph, the WildCats capitalized on two Virginia Wesleyan errors to seal the 26-24 win.

Similar to the first set, the second frame saw the score remain close, with Randolph holding a 9-7 edge over the Marlins. The WildCats would soon surrender the lead as Virginia Wesleyan rattled off five straight points to jump ahead, 12-9, and send Randolph into a timeout. Coming out of the break, the WildCats quickly trimmed the deficit to 14-13 before pushing a 3-2 run to tie the score at 16-all. The Marlins quickly regained a slight lead, though the WildCats would just as quickly tie the score once again (18-all) but a 7-1 rally by the Marlins gave the set win to Virginia Wesleyan and tied the game to one match apiece.

Despite a 6-2 lead in the third set, the Marlins saw their advantage disappear as Randolph rattled off a 5-0 run to take the lead. The score remained close after that, with both teams separated by only one or two points before Randolph found an opportunity to jump out ahead for a 22-19 edge. However, the Marlins would be the ones to take the set win off of a 5-0 run.

In the final set, the Marlins took hold of a 6-1 lead before quickly being caught by Randolph off of a 3-0 spurt. However, Virginia Wesleyan refused to relinquish their lead, pushing their advantage all the way to 23-10. Lauren Morgan (Bedford, Va./Liberty) managed to give the WildCats one last point before the Marlins capped off the match with back-to-back points for the overall victory.

Autumn Troxell (Front Royal, Va./Warren County) landed big numbers as the junior outside hitter tallied 21 kills and 20 digs for the WildCats. Rebecca Lesnak (Blountville, Tenn./Sullivan Central) drilled nine kills for the offense while Morgan added five and Taylor Webb (Nassawadox, Va./Northampton) chipped in four.

Kennedy Webb (Nassawadox, Va./Northampton) recorded 21 digs for the defense while Taylor added 14 and Brooks Gillerlain (Suffolk, Va./Nansemond-Suffolk Academy) totaled 10, including a team-high 22 assists.

The WildCats drop to 4-7, 1-1 ODAC and look to rebound tomorrow when they host Randolph-Macon College at 1 p.m.