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Gillerlain Notches 2000th Assist as WildCats Conclude Maroon Classic with a Split

Brooks Gillerlain sets the ball for her teammate

SALEM, Va.Brooks Gillerlain (Suffolk, Va./Nansemond-Suffolk Academy) became the fourth WildCat in school history to reach the 2000th assist milestone as the Randolph College volleyball team concluded the second and final day of the Maroon Classic, hosted by Roanoke College.

After today's matches, Gillerlain currently owns 2,002 career-assists, which stands fourth in the record books.

The WildCats fell to Averett University, 3-1 (25-17, 17-25, 21-25, 20-25) before defeating Mary Baldwin College in straight sets (25-9, 25-5, 25-11).

Game 1: Averett 3, Randolph 1

After falling to the Cougars in a previous meeting, Randolph was ready for redemption.

The WildCats played an impressive first set, opening up the scoring gates with a 7-3 lead after capitalizing off several attack errors committed by the Cougars. Averett was able to trim the deficit to 13-10 but Randolph increased its lead to 17-10 with a 4-0 push, capped off by a service ace from Autumn Troxell (Front Royal, Va./Warren County). The WildCats remained ahead, eventually increasing their lead to 24-14 off a 5-0 run. Despite the Cougars grabbing two more points, a service error would be their undoing as Randolph clinched the 25-17 set win.

The second set saw Averett pull away with a 5-1 lead, but the WildCats were able to close the point gap to 7-5 after taking advantage of an Averett attack error. The Cougars remained in the lead, extending their advantage to 10-5, forcing the WildCats into a timeout. Coming out of the break though, Randolph rallied with a 4-0 run, which included back-to-back service aces by Mackenzie Ambrose (Floyd, Va./Floyd County), to cut the score to 10-9, resulting in Averett calling for a brief intermission. The break proved to be beneficial for the Cougars as they stormed ahead on a 10-3 run for a 20-12 margin. Randolph fought hard to close the point gap, eventually roping the score to 24-17, but a Randolph attack error would hand Averett the win, leveling the match to 1-all.

Although the WildCats grabbed control of the lead in the third set, Averett remained right on their tail as the Cougars closed the gap to 7-6 before jumping ahead, 10-8. Both teams battled for the lead with Averett edging Randolph, 18-14 off a 4-0 run. The WildCats continued to keep the score close, trimming the deficit to 24-21 but in the end it would be Averett who would take the set victory.

Despite the Cougars holding an 8-1 advantage early in the fourth set, Randolph battled back to close the gap with a 10-5 run, capped off by another Ambrose service ace, to make it a 13-11 score and send the Cougars into a timeout. Coming out of the break, a block assist by Kennedy Moulton (Springfield, Va./West Springfield) and Taja Hunley (Dalzell, S.C./Thomas Sumter Academy) handed Randolph another point to cut the point deficit to 13-12, but the Cougars responded with a 6-1 burst to increase the margin to 19-13. After a brief respite called by the WildCats, Randolph rallied with a 7-2 push to close the gap to 21-20. However, it would not be enough as the Cougars dished out five unanswered points to win the set and seal the match triumph.

Troxell paced the WildCats with 13 kills and 16 digs, while Ambrose added eight kills and four service aces. Gillerlain distributed 16 assists to go along with nine digs, while Sam Verhaagen (Virginia Beach, Va./Norfolk Christian) also recorded nine digs. Meghan Chaffins (Temperanceville, Va./Holly Grove Christian) recorded four total blocks, two assists and two solo, in the loss.

Game 2: Randolph 3, Mary Baldwin 0  

Randolph dominated all three sets, in its win over Mary Baldwin, taking the lead each time and never looking back.

The third set saw the Fighting Squirrels narrow the WildCats' lead, trimming the deficit to two points (6-4), but Randolph would show its dominance once again and cruise to a 25-11 win to secure the match victory.

Troxell landed six kills in the win while Ambrose added five kills and Hunley chipped in four. Defensively, Verhaagen recorded 13 digs while Kennedy Webb (Nassawadox, Va./Northampton) recorded seven digs. Gillerlain posted 12 assists for the WildCats while Taylor Webb (Nassawadox, Va./Northampton) distributed 10.

Troxell was named to the 2018 Maroon Classic All-Tournament Team.

The WildCats return home on Tuesday, Sept. 11 when they open Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) play against Randolph-Macon College in the RAD Center at 7 p.m.