LYNCHBURG, Va. – Despite pulling the third set to match point, the Randolph College volleyball team ultimately fell to visiting Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) rival Randolph-Macon College, 3-0 (20-25, 19-25, 24-26), on Tuesday evening in the RAD Center.
In the opening set, the YellowJackets held a 10-5 advantage over the WildCats but Randolph slowly started to climb its way out of the point gap, trimming the deficit to 11-10. Randolph-Macon would shake off the WildCats and extend its lead to 18-14 before a 3-0 rally placed Randolph behind, 18-17. It would be the closest Randolph would get to the YellowJackets as Randolph-Macon stormed ahead to take the final 25-20 set win.
Although Randolph-Macon would take the lead early in the second set, Randolph fought back with a 3-0 run, including two service aces by Mackenzie Ambrose (Floyd, Va./Floyd County), to jump ahead with a slight 6-5 edge. Both teams would trade the lead for the next few points before the YellowJackets made their move with a 4-0 push for a 16-13 lead, forcing Randolph to call a timeout. Coming out of the break, Randolph-Macon continued its assault against the WildCats, extending its lead to 22-18. An attack error committed by the YellowJackets brought Randolph within three (22-19), but Randolph-Macon dished out three unanswered points to take the set, 25-19.
The third set saw the WildCats grab a slight 7-6 lead over the YellowJackets. After calling a timeout, Randolph-Macon would see the point gap increase as Randolph pushed its lead all the way to 23-16. However, the YellowJackets would rally with a 5-1 run to close the gap to 24-22 before serving up two service aces to level the score at 24-all. The WildCats called for a timeout to regroup but it would not be enough as the YellowJackets delivered the final two points needed to seal the 26-24 win and the match victory.
Autumn Troxell (Front Royal, Va./Warren County) landed 11 kills for Randolph while Ambrose recorded eight kills, to go along with a team-high 10 digs. Brooks Gillerlain (Suffolk, Va./Nansemond-Suffolk Academy) distributed 18 assists in the loss while Taylor Webb (Nassawadox, Va./Northampton) dished out 11 assists and eight digs. Sam Verhaagen (Virginia Beach, Va./Norfolk Christian) would also record eight digs while Taja Hunley (Dalzell, S.C./Thomas Sumter Academy) collected four block assists in the loss.
The WildCats drop to 2-8, 0-1 ODAC and will return to action when they host Regent University on Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m.