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Volleyball Splits Home Doubleheader

Brooks Gillerlain sets the ball

LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Randolph College volleyball team defeated visiting N.C. Wesleyan College, 3-0 (25-19, 25-15, 26-24) before falling to William Peace University 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-22) on Friday evening in the RAD Center.

Game 1: Randolph 3, NC Wesleyan 0

The Battling Bishops grabbed a slight 7-5 edge over the WildCats in the opening set, Randolph rallied with a 4-0 run to take the lead, 9-7. The WildCats extended their lead to 13-10 before NC Wesleyan leveled the score to 13-all, but the tie would not last as three unanswered points gave Randolph back the lead and forced the Battling Bishops into the timeout. Coming out of the break, the WildCats increased its margin, pushing it all the way to 23-17. The Battling Bishops managed to trim the deficit to 24-19 but a kill landed by Autumn Troxell (Front Royal, Va./Warren County) sealed the set win for Randolph.

The second set saw Randolph storm ahead with a comfortable 11-5 lead before extending its advantage to 16-8. NC Wesleyan chipped away at Randolph's lead, cutting the deficit to 16-11, but a 5-0 push by the WildCats increased its margin to 21-12, forcing NC Wesleyan to call a timeout. Despite the Battling Bishops best efforts, they were only able to rope the score to 24-15 before Troxell landed another set winning kill for the WildCats.

Randolph held the lead for most of the third set but soon saw its advantage disappear as the Battling Bishops climbed their way out of the point gap, eventually leveling the score to 24-all off a 6-0 run. However, the WildCats would clinch the match as back-to-back kills delivered by Mackenzie Ambrose (Floyd, Va./Floyd County) secured the 26-24 set victory.

Troxell led the offensive efforts with 13 kills, while recording 14 digs for the defense. Ambrose concluded the match with 10 kills while Taja Hunley (Dalzell, S.C./Thomas Sumter Academy) landed five kills. Kennedy Webb (Nassawadox, Va./Northampton) led defensively with 18 digs while Taylor Webb (Nassawadox, Va./Northampton) and Brooks Gillerlain (Suffolk, Va./Nansemond-Suffolk Academy) dished out 17 assists and 16 assists, respectively.

Game 2: William Peace 3, Randolph 0

Despite a relatively close score in the opening set, the Pacers fired off a 9-0 run for a commanding 15-8 lead over the WildCats. Randolph slowly climbed its way out of the point gap, cutting the deficit to 21-20, but William Peace would seal the win on a 4-1 rally.

Although the Pacers had the edge over Randolph in the second set, the WildCats remained close behind, never trailing by more than two before making their move off a 3-0 burst to grab a 17-16 lead and force the Pacers into a timeout. Coming out of the break, the teams would trade points to level the score several times but William Peace would ultimately edge out the Randolph, 25-23, to take the set.

The Pacers held a slight 14-13 margin over the WildCats before capitalizing on several Randolph attack errors to extend its lead to 18-14. Randolph slowly chipped away at the Pacers' lead, cutting the deficit to 24-22 but that is as far as the WildCats could get before William Peace landed the match-winning kill.

Troxell once again notched a double-double, landing 11 kills while recording 15 digs for the defense. Ambrose chipped in nine kills for the offense while Rebecca Lesnak (Blountville, Tenn./Sullivan Central) and Hunley delivered six kills apiece. Kennedy Webb also recorded 15 digs for Randolph while Gillerlain dished out a team-high 21 assists.

The WildCats move to 7-15 overall and are back on their home court on Wednesday, Oct. 17 when they host conference rival Emory & Henry College at 7:30 p.m.