BUENA VISTA, Va. – The Randolph College volleyball team fell to host Southern Virginia University, 3-0 (17-25, 23-25, 27-29) on Wednesday evening in the Knight Sports Arena.
Although the Knights would hold a slight 3-1 edge early in the opening set, the WildCats quickly trimmed the deficit on a kill by Rebecca Lesnak (Blountville, Tenn./Sullivan Central) and a Meghan Chaffins (Temperanceville, Va./Holly Grove Christian) to level the score to 3-all. Both teams would trade points for a brief time, ending with an 8-7 score in favor of Randolph, but Southern Virginia launched an offensive attack that placed the Knights ahead, 15-8. The WildCats managed to stay behind by no more than five points, eventually bringing the score to 20-15, but a 5-2 push by the Knights handed Southern Virginia the 25-17 set win.
In the second set, the WildCats were out to an early 3-1 lead thanks in part to a kill and a service ace delivered by Autumn Troxell (Front Royal, Va./Warren County). However, a 6-1 push by the Knights placed Southern Virginia ahead, 7-4. The Knights continued to hold a slight edge over the WildCats, settling with a 15-11 score, but Randolph dished out a four unanswered points to level the score at 15-all and send Southern Virginia into a timeout. Coming out of the break, the score would remain close with the WildCats quickly grabbing a 17-16 lead off of a Mackenzie Ambrose (Floyd, Va./Floyd) service ace. Both teams battled for the lead and Southern Virginia would claim a 24-21 edge. Randolph managed to close the gap to 24-23, capitalizing on a Southern Virginia attack error and a kill by Kennedy Moulton (Springfield, Va./West Springfield), but it would be the closest the WildCats would get as the Knights delivered the set winning kill shortly after for the final 25-23 score.
All signs pointed to a Southern Virginia victory in the third set as the Knights held a 21-14 advantage, but Randolph rallied to close the gap to 22-18, before back-to-back kills from Troxell sparked a 5-0 run to bring the score to 23-all, forcing the Knights into a timeout. Coming out of the break, the Knights would jump out with the match point several times but Randolph would respond in kind before a Southern Virginia attack error finally gave Randolph a 27-26 edge and a chance to push the match into a fourth set. However, the Knights were able to dish out three unanswered points needed to win the set and clinch the match victory.
Troxell recorded nine kills for the Randolph offense while Ambrose delivered six kills and Lesnak landed five kills. Defensively, Kennedy Webb (Nassawadox, Va./Northampton) recorded a team-high 19 digs and four service aces while Ambrose and Brooks Gillerlain (Suffolk, Va./Nansemond-Suffolk Academy) each recorded seven digs. Gillerlain distributed 13 assists and seven digs in the loss while Taylor Webb (Nassawadox, Va./Northampton) dished out six assists.
The WildCats drop to 4-9 on the season and are back home on Saturday, Sept. 29 when they host an Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) tri-match with Shenandoah University and Hollins University. First match is set for 12 p.m.