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Volleyball Drops Two on Final Day of Cougar Classic

Rebecca Lesnak serves the ball

DANVILLE, Va. – The Randolph College volleyball team dropped a pair of matches in its final day at the 24th Annual Cougar Classic, hosted by Averett University.

The WildCats fell to Roanoke College in straight sets (12-25, 22-25, 15-25) before dropping a 3-0 (14-25, 13-25, 21-25) decision to William Peace College.

Game 1: Roanoke 3, Randolph 0

Despite the WildCats only trailing by two (6-4) early in the opening set, Roanoke extended their lead to a comfortable 16-4 margin after firing off 10 unanswered points. After a brief timeout called by Randolph, the WildCats rallied with a 7-6 run to decrease the deficit to 22-12, but were plagued by errors to drop the set, 25-12.

The second set saw both the Maroons jump ahead with the lead, but Randolph was never far behind as the WildCats were able to level the score several times, eventually settling on a 15-all margin before the Maroons took off on an 8-0 push to secure a 23-15 lead. The WildCats fought back with a 6-0 rally to trim the deficit to 23-21. After a brief timeout called by Roanoke, the Maroons were able to reach match point but a kill by Mackenzie Ambrose (Floyd, Va./Floyd County) kept Randolph alive. Still, it would not be enough as Roanoke delivered the set winning kill on the following play.

In the third and final set, the Maroons took control of the lead early on and never looked back as they pushed their margin all the way to 16-6. Each team would go on to score nine more points apiece to ultimately hand Roanoke the match win.

Leading the way for the WildCats was Autumn Troxell (Front Royal, Va./Warren County) who landed six kills awhile Ambrose and Rebecca Lesnak (Blountville, Tenn./Sullivan County) tallied five kills each. Brooks Gillerlain (Suffolk, Va./Nansemond-Suffolk Academy) distributed 17 assists in the loss while Sam Verhaagen (Virginia Beach, Va./Norfolk Christian) recorded 19 digs and Taylor Webb (Nassawadox, Va./Northampton) collected five service aces.

Game 2: William Peace 3, Randolph 0

Although the Pacers managed to secure an early 4-0 lead, a 6-2 push by the WildCats leveled the score to 6-all. Still, William Peace would take back control of the score with a 10-7 margin, but Randolph once again evened the playing field, making it a 10-all set. But several attacking errors plagued the WildCats and extended the Pacers' lead to 20-11. Randolph was able to trim the deficit to 23-14 but would submit defeat two points later to William Peace.

Similar to the opening set, the Pacers ran out to an early lead and never looked back, eventually securing a comfortable 19-8 lead. Despite Randolph's best efforts, the WildCats were unable to catch William Peace as the Pacers claimed a 25-13 set win for a 2-0 lead heading into the final set of the match.

The third set saw Randolph jump out with the lead, eventually extending its margin to 10-7. However, a 6-0 run by the Pacers handed the reigns to William Peace and forced Randolph into a timeout. The WildCats fought their way out of the point gap, decreasing the deficit to 22-21 but were unable to get any closer as the Pacers took the set with a 25-21 win to secure the match victory.

Ambrose tallied five kills for the WIldCats while Lesnak chipped in four kills. Verghaagen recorded 10 digs while Gillerlain dished out eight assists and Webb distributed five assists of her own. 

Randolph drops to 0-4 on the season and will host Pfeiffer University in its home opener on Wednesday, Sept. 5 in the RAD Center. Start time is set for 7 p.m.