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WildCats Drop Two at DeSales Tri-Match

Kennedy Webb receives a serve
Kennedy Webb receives a serve

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – The Randolph College volleyball team fell to Arcadia University in straight sets (17-25, 16-25, 20-25) before dropping a 3-1 (25-23, 15-25, 17-25, 24-26) decision to host DeSales University on Saturday afternoon.

The WildCats drop to 8-14 overall and return back to conference play next weekend when they pay a visit to Eastern Mennonite University for a 1 p.m. match-up.

Game 1: Arcadia 3, Randolph 0

Despite Randolph taking control of the lead, Arcadia trailed closely behind until a 4-0 run pushed the Knights out front for a 13-10 edge. After a brief timeout called by the WildCats, Arcadia extended its lead to a 22-16 margin. Randolph was able to add one more point off of a kill by Lauren Morgan (Bedford, Va./Liberty) but a brief 3-0 burst handed the Knights the 25-17 win.

In the second set, Arcadia grabbed hold of the reins for a 7-4 lead but the WildCats managed to stay close behind, slicing the score to 8-6. However, the Knights soon found their stride as an 11-2 burst pushed them to a comfortable 19-8 margin. The WildCats slowly chipped away at Arcadia's lead, managing to slice the deficit to 24-16 but the Knights landed the final point for the set win.

Once again, the Knights jumped ahead with the lead, pushing their advantage to 16-8 but Randolph would respond with an 8-2 run to cut the score to 17-16. However, it would be the closest the WildCats would get to the Knights before Arcadia executed an 8-4 push to seal the final set and the match win.

Shelby Bergum (Terrebonne, Ore./Redmond) paced the WildCat offense with eight kills while Autumn Troxell (Front Royal, Va./Warren County) and Taylor Webb (Nasswadox, Va./Northampton) each floored five kills and Morgan landed four kills. Kennedy Webb (Nassawadox, Va./Northampton) led the defense with 14 digs while Brooks Gillerlain (Suffolk, Va./Nansemond-Suffolk Academy) distributed 19 assists.

Game 2: DeSales 3, Randolph 1

Although the WildCats claimed the first set, 25-23, the host Bulldogs made a comeback in the following three sets to take home the match win.

In the opening set, the Bulldogs held a 13-8 margin but the WildCats were able to chip away at the lead to make a 14-12 game before pushing a 4-1 run to jump ahead, 16-15. The score would tie four times before Randolph took the lead once again with a 24-21 score. The Bulldogs would close the gap within one (24-23) but the WildCats sealed the set as Bergum landed the final kill.

Randolph grabbed a small lead in the start of the second set but DeSales made quick work of overtaking the WildCats for a 17-9 advantage. Randolph slowly chipped away at the Bulldogs' lead, trimming the deficit to 20-14 but a 5-2 burst gave DeSales the set win, leveling the match to one game apiece.

After the WildCats leveled the score to 9-all in the third set, DeSales ran off with the lead on a 4-0 spurt to force a Randolph timeout. However, the Bulldogs kept up the offensive pressure, extending their lead to 21-10. Still, the WildCats would fight back, eventually slicing the deficit to 24-17, but a Randolph service error handed the Bulldogs a 2-1 advantage.

In the fourth and final set, Randolph claimed a 1-7 edge over DeSales but soon saw their lead vanish as a 5-0 run placed the Bulldogs ahead, 12-10. The WildCats trailed just slightly for a brief time, eventually capitalizing on a DeSales attack error to level the score to 17-all before dishing out two more points for a 19-17 lead and forcing the Bulldogs to call a timeout. Coming out of the break, the WildCats extended their lead to 21-17 but were soon plagued by attacking errors which allowed the Bulldogs to tie the score at 21-all.

DeSales managed to push their lead to match point but the WildCats benefitted from several Bulldog attack errors to make it a 24-all tie. However, DeSales would deliver the fatal two points to win the set and seal the match.

Troxell posted a double-double 14 kills and 10 digs for the match. Rebecca Lesnak (Blountville, Tenn./Sullivan Central) and Taylor Webb added six kills each while Kennedy Webb totaled 13 digs to lead the defense and Gillierlain finished the day with 24 assists.