LYNCHBURG, Va. – Despite taking the second set of the match to even the playing field, the Randolph College volleyball team ultimately fell to host and Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) foe the University of Lynchburg 3-1 (24-26, 25-23, 13-25, 17-25) on Friday evening in Turner Gymnasium.
Both teams held a close score in the opening set before the Hornets broke away to claim a 16-11 lead. The WildCats would slowly chip away at the deficit, capitalizing on several Lynchburg attack errors to jump out to a 20-19 edge, forcing the Hornets into a timeout. Lynchburg managed to reach match-point before Randolph leveled the score to 24-all off a kill by Taja Hunley (Dalzell, S.C./Thomas Sumter Academy) but would eventually grab the two points needed for the set win.
The Hornets grabbed a slim 7-6 edge over the WildCats in the second set before Randolph rallied with a 7-2 push, capped off by consecutive kills from Autumn Troxell (Front Royal, Va./Warren County), for a 13-9 margin. After a brief Lynchburg timeout, the WildCats remained in the lead with the Hornets trailing by no more than two points until Lynchburg managed to even the score to 23-all. Randolph called for a timeout to regroup and was able to land the final two points needed to make it a 1-all match.
The third set saw Lynchburg run out with the lead and never look back. The Hornets pushed ahead to a commanding 17-7 lead but the WildCats were able to trim the deficit to 17-11 off of a 4-0 run. However, Lynchburg pushed an 8-2 rally to clinch the 25-13 tally.
In the final set of the match, the Hornets grabbed a 9-5 margin over the WildCats but Randolph managed to trail by no more than three points, eventually closing the gap to 14-13. However, the WildCats were plagued by several errors that allowed the Hornets to take back the lead, settling with a 20-13 advantage. Randolph fought hard to close the point gap, trimming the deficit to 24-17 but a service error committed by the WildCats cemented the set win and the match victory for Lynchburg.
Troxell paced the offense with 16 kills while Rebecca Lesnak (Blountville, Tenn./Sullivan Central) added 11 kills, hitting .333 (11-4-21) for the night. Defensively, Kennedy Webb (Nassawadox, Va./Northampton) led with 13 digs while Brooks Gillerlain (Suffolk, Va./Nansemond-Suffolk Academy) notched seven digs to go along with a team-high 31 assists and two service aces. Meghan Chaffins (Temperanceville, Va./Holly Grove Christian) finished the night with a strong showing at the net, totaling three block assists and one solo.
Randolph drops to 10-18, 4-8 ODAC and closes out its regular season tomorrow when it takes on Christendom College at 1:30 p.m. before facing Appalachian Bible College at 3:30 p.m.