LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Randolph College volleyball team pushed the match to a deciding set but ultimately fell 3-2 (21-25, 25-21, 22-25, 25-21, 5-15) in its home and season finale to NC Wesleyan College on Saturday afternoon in the RAD Center.
Prior to the start of the match, the WildCats honored their only senior Shelby Bergum (Terrebonne, Ore./Redmond).
Randolph concludes the 2017 season 8-19 overall and 3-8 in the ODAC.
Although the Battling Bishops held the lead throughout most of the opening set, the WildCats only trailed by two points. Randolph managed to trim the deficit to 19-18 but NC Wesleyan were able to capture the 25-21 set win off of a 7-3 run.
In similar fashion the first set, the second frame saw the Battling Bishops grab the advantage, pushing their lead to 15-11 but Randolph jumped ahead off of a 6-0 burst for a 17-15 edge. The WildCats managed to extend its lead all the way to 23-21 before capitalizing on a pair of NC Wesleyan errors to clinch the set and even the teams with one set apiece.
The third set was a neck-and-neck battle between both teams for the lead with the Battling Bishops eventually jumping ahead slightly after capitalizing off of two WildCat errors and would push its advantage all the way to 24-21. Randolph managed to snag one more point before the Battling Bishops took the 25-22 win shortly after.
The WildCats were hot out of the gates in the fourth set with a 4-0 advantage and continued to hold the lead throughout most of the set until the Battling Bishops responded with a 3-0 rally to level the score to 13-all. After a brief timeout called by the WildCats, Randolph drilled a 7-3 run to capture a 20-16 advantage and forced the Battling Bishops into a timeout. NC Wesleyan was able to trim the deficit to 24-21 but Autumn Troxell (Front Royal, Va./Warren County) floored the final kill to send the match into a deciding set.
NC Wesleyan dominated the fifth stanza, pushing the score to 14-2. Randolph was able to pull off a 3-0 run for a 14-5 score but that would be as far as the WildCats could go before the Battling Bishops capped off the set with a kill and seal their victory.
Three Randolph student-athletes notched double-figure kills in the loss with Bergum leading the way with 14 kills while Lauren Morgan (Bedford, Va./Liberty) added 13 and Troxell posted 12 kills to go along with 12 digs. Kennedy Webb (Nassawadox, Va./Northampton) paced the defense with 16 digs while Taylor Webb (Nassawadox, Va./Northampton) recorded 15 digs and Mackenzie Ambrose (Floyd, Va./Floyd County) chipped in 14 digs. Brooks Gillerlain (Suffolk, Va./Nansemond-Suffolk Academy) also recorded a double-double for the WildCats with 49 assists and 10 digs.