LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Randolph College volleyball team fell to visiting Pfeiffer University, 3-2 (25-15, 13-25, 25-17, 9-25, 11-15) in its home opener on Wednesday evening.
The WildCats dominated the opening set, taking control of the lead off of a 4-0 run for an 8-5 score. After a brief timeout taken by the Falcons, Pfeiffer managed to trim the deficit to 10-9, but a 9-3 push by the WildCats extended Randolph's lead to 19-11, forcing Pfeiffer into another timeout. Coming out of the break, Pfeiffer managed to close the gap once again, trimming the score to 23-15 but a kill by Mackenzie Ambrose (Floyd, Va./Floyd County) and a Pfeiffer attacking error handed the 25-15 win to Randolph.
The Falcons grabbed the lead in the second set and never looked back as they pushed to a 14-4 margin, causing Randolph to call for a timeout to regroup. Pfeiffer continued to extend its lead throughout the set, but the WildCats fought hard to decrease the deficit, eventually roping the score to 20-13. However, it would not be enough Randolph was plagued by attack errors, allowing the Falcons to claim the second set victory and make it a 1-all match.
The tide turned for Randolph in the third set as the WildCats grabbed hold of a comfortable 14-8 lead. After a Pfeiffer timeout, Randolph continued to build its lead throughout the set although the Falcons remained right on its tail. Still, the WildCats would emerge victorious as Autumn Troxell (Front Royal, Va./Warren County) delivered the set winning kill.
Similar to the second set of the match, the Falcons took hold of the lead in the fourth set and never looked back as they cruised to an easy 25-9 win to send the match into a deciding set.
Although Pfeiffer grabbed control of the score first in the fifth set, the WildCats were never far behind and managed to level the score to 9-all off a kill by Troxell and a service ace by Sam Verhaagen (Virginia Beach, Va./Norfolk Christian), sending the Falcons into a timeout. Coming out of the break, the Falcons took hold the lead once again and would maintain it to secure the 15-11 set win and claim the match victory.
Troxell led the offense with 15 kills while Ambrose added five. Defensively, Verhaagen recorded 26 digs, matching her season-high, while Ambrose collected 14 and Brooks Gillerlain (Suffolk, Va./Nansemond-Suffolk Academy) chipped in 12 digs to go along with her 19 assists.
The WildCats drop to 0-5 and move on to compete in the Maroon Classic hosted by Roanoke College from Friday-Saturday, Sept. 7-8. Randolph faces Methodist University on Friday, Sept. 7 at 2 p.m., followed by Piedmont College at 4 p.m.