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Volleyball Falls Twice at Eastern Mennonite

Brooks Gillerlain sets the ball for her teammate

HARRISONBURG, Va. – The Randolph College volleyball team fell to host and Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) foe Eastern Mennonite University 3-0 (20-25,24-26, 22-25) before dropping a 3-1 (25-20, 23-25, 20-25, 15-25) decision to Dickinson College on Saturday afternoon.

The WildCats fall to 8-16, 3-7 ODAC and will look to bounce back on Tuesday, Oct. 24 when they take on Southern Virginia University at 7 p.m.

Game 1: Eastern Mennonite 3, Randolph 0

The WildCats ran off on a 4-1 lead early on in the opening set but the Royals quickly responded with a 3-0 run to tie the game. Randolph managed to escape the claws of the Royals, pushing its advantage to 8-5 and sending Eastern Mennonite into a timeout. Coming out of the break, the Royals slowly chipped away at Randolph's lead, eventually slicing the deficit to 14-13 before capitalizing on several WildCat attack errors to jump ahead, 17-14. Randolph was able to climb its way up, cutting the Royals' lead 23-20 but would fall short as Eastern Mennonite claimed the 25-23 win.

The second set saw Randolph fall victim to a 15-3 deficit but the WildCats soon found its momentum, pushing a massive 12-3 run for a closer 18-15 score. The Royals were able to rally with a 2-0 spurt after a short timeout but the WildCats could not be stopped as they overhauled Eastern Mennonite with a 7-2 run for a 22-20 edge. A close battle ensued for the second set win with the Royals securing a 24-23 lead. Although a kill by Lauren Morgan (Bedford, Va./Liberty) evened the score to 24-all, the Royals scored the two points needed to take set two, 26-24.

In the final set, the WildCats took a commanding 5-1 lead over the Royals, forcing them into a timeout. Coming out of the break, the Royals sliced the deficit to 6-5 but Randolph would stay ahead by two points, pushing its advantage to 12-10. A WildCat attack error trimmed the deficit further before back-to-back service aces by the Royals sent them ahead 13-12. The WildCats would tie the score twice trying to regain the lead but a 10-4 run would push the Royals all the way to match point. Randolph was able to take advantage of several Eastern Mennonite attack errors to make it a 24-22 score but the Royals landed the final kill to take home the third set and the match win.

Morgan, Taylor Webb (Nassawadox, Va./Northampton), Shelby Bergum (Terrebonne, Ore./Redmond) and Autumn Troxell (Front Royal, Va./Warren County) each tallied five kills for the WildCat offense while Rebecca Lesnak (Blountville, Tenn./Sullivan Central) added four kills. Kennedy Webb (Nassawadox, Va./Northampton) led the defense with 20 digs while Taylor Webb chipped in 11 digs. Brooks Gillerlain (Suffolk, Va./Nansemond-Suffolk Academy) finished the game with 19 assists, 13 digs and two kills.

Game 2: Dickinson 3, Randolph 1

Despite winning the opening set, the Red Devils made a straight set comeback to take home a 3-1 match win over the WildCats.

With an even score of 5-all, the WildCats made their move on a 7-1 run for a comfortable 12-6 lead. After Dickinson called a timeout to regroup, they managed to trim the deficit to 12-8 but Randolph continued to put on the pressure as the WildCats extended their lead to 17-11. The Red Devils were quick to respond with a 6-1 run of their own, slicing the deficit to 18-17 but Randolph could not be stopped as it cruised to a 25-20 set win, capped off by a Morgan kill.

Randolph took hold of the lead once again in the second set, grabbing a 7-5 edge over the Red Devils, but the WildCats soon saw their advantage disappear as Dickinson leveled the score to 10-all before pushing ahead to a 12-10 lead. A 4-0 burst saw the Red Devils' lead extend to 16-10 but the Randolph started to slowly chip away at the point deficit. Despite Dickinson pushing its lead to match point, the WildCats drilled a 4-0 run to trim the score to 24-23, but the Red Devils would claim the second set win on the following point.

Although the Red Devils held a 10-6 advantage in the third set, Randolph rattled off a 6-0 run, which included back-to-back kills by Olivia Pullin (Roanoke, Va./Patrick Henry) and two service aces by Kennedy Webb, to grab a 12-10 lead. The teams would battle back-and-forth for the advantage with Dickinson ultimately claiming a 19-16 edge. Randolph managed to slice the deficit to 23-20 but consecutive Red Devil kills clinched the 25-23 win.

In the final set, Dickinson jumped out to a large 18-7 margin and never looked back as the Red Devils sailed to an easy 25-15 win to seal the match victory.

Troxell led the WildCat offense with 10 kills while Bergum ended the match with seven kills and four block assists. Lesnak concluded the day with six kills of her own while Kennedy Webb pulled out a team-high 25 digs for the defense. Gillerlain distributed 20 assists and nine digs in the loss.