In A Fight For First, Volleyball Defeats Generals

Emily Fitzwater, Miranda Hall and Morgan Seal high five after point.

LEXINGTON, Va. – Facing a fight for first place in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, the Randolph-Macon women's volleyball team pushed ahead in the fifth set to beat Washington & Lee 3-2  (25-22, 19-25, 23-25, 25-20, 15-13). R-MC is now 7-0 in the conference in 2017 and moves to 15-4 overall. W&L falls to 14-6 and 6-1 in the conference.

Randolph-Macon won the first set 25-22. The team hit .125 on the way to 12 kills. R-MC got out to the early 2-0 lead. R-MC found another small run of three points to take its lead to 10-6. The Yellow Jackets finished the set with a 3-1 run to win 25-22.

R-MC was able to jump to another 2-0 lead before W&L tied the set at two and then tied it again at four and five. The Yellow Jackets returned to the lead at 9-5 and kept control of it to 11-9. That's when the General found a run, taking the score up to a 12-15. R-MC was able to tie it back up at 17 and again at 18 before W&L found the lead again and eventually the last five points to win the set 19-25. Despite the loss, Macon hit .219 in the set.

For the third set in a row, R-MC got out to the early lead with a 3-0 advantage. The Yellow Jackets continued with the significant advantage up to 6-2. But W&L got four straight points to tie it at six apiece. R-MC took a quick jump again before the Generals tied it back up and began to build their lead. The Generals got three straight two-point runs taking the lead to 13-18 when R-MC got a run to tie the game at 18 and then 19 each. But again W&L found six of the last ten points to take the win 23-25

In the fourth set, R-MC got out to another 2-0 advantage before W&L found five straight points to go up 2-5. The Generals continued the run with another three points, taking the set to their favor of 4-8. R-MC battled back, bringing the score to 7-9. After a few more traded points, Randolph-Macon found a run of five points to take the lead 12-11. The teams would battle each other, trading points and tie the game another two times up to 17-17. That's when W&L found the lead 17-19. But the Yellow Jackets roared back and took the lead back and only allowed one more W&L point en route to the victory 25-20.

The first part of set five was taken by W&L, which jumped out to leads of 2-4 and 2-6. After taking both timeouts early, R-MC was able to stop the attack though and battled to the 8-8 tie after finding five of next six points scored on the court. The Generals kept fighting though, taking the match to 9-11 before R-MC tied it yet again at 11. From there, the Yellow Jackets advanced the lead under the service of senior Erin Quinn (Morrisville, N.C. / Cardinal Gibbons), which included a service ace, the only one of the night for R-MC. The Yellow Jackets took the score up to 13-11 before allowing another Generals score. W&L brought the game to 14-13 before junior Mariah Clark (Stuarts Draft, Va. / Riverheads) finished off the match point to secure the team's victory.

Sophomore Miranda Hall (Mechanicsville, Va. / Hanover) killed 20 volleys while making only four errors on 48 attacks, making her kill percentage .333. The 20 kills marked the most of any player on the court. She leads the ODAC in kills per set at 3.27 and is second with overall kills at 206.

Two other Yellow Jackets were in double digits in the kills column. Clark tallied 13 kills and only two errors on 37 attacks, making her kill percentage .297. Senior Rebecca McGilvery (Warrenton, Va. / Kettle Run) killed 12 volleys as well.

Quinn finished with 32 assists while sophomore Angela Tender (Manassas, Va. / Stone Bridge) threw in 15.

The Yellow Jackets came up big defensively in the match as well. Senior Samantha Sallade (Newport News, Va. / Peninsula Catholic) led the team with 26 digs while Clark, Quinn and McGilvery each had eight. Hall and freshman Mackenzie Loewe (Leonardtown, Md. / St. Mary's Ryken) each tallied seven digs for R-MC.

Blocking has proven to be a critical part of the defense this season and tonight was no exception. Senior Colleen Beaver (Fredericksburg, Va. / Massaponax) led the team with six blocks. Clark and Sophomore Bailey Jones (Suffolk, Va. / Norfolk Collegiate) each added five blocks, with one of Jones' being a solo effort, the only of that kind in the match. Junior Emily Fitzwater (Bealeton, Va. / Liberty) came up with three blocks while Hall, McGilvery and senior Morgan Seal (Midlothian, Va. / Midlothian) each came up with two.

Senior Julia Stech (Chester, Va. / LC Bird), sophomore Alexia Wolfe (Midlothian, Va. / James River) and sophomore Bre Lockhart (Roanoke, Va. / Hidden Valley) each saw action in the match. Wolfe killed four volleys while Stech dug up six that came her way. Lockhart played in the final set, serving once in the critical final effort.

R-MC returns from its three-game road stand after Fall Break, playing Bridgewater in Crenshaw Gymnasium next Wednesday, October 18 at 7:00 PM.