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Second Half of Season Begins With a Win for Volleyball

Julia Stech prepares for a serve

ROANOKE, Va – Randolph-Macon women's volleyball began October and the second half of the season with a victory over Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) opponent Hollins University, 3-0. It's the Yellow Jackets' tenth win in a row as the team now sits at 14-3 and 6-0 in the conference. 

R-MC and Hollins played each other closely to a 7-4 Yellow Jacket lead in set one. That's when Randolph-Macon opened the floodgates. Sophomore Angela Tender (Manassas, Va./Stone Bridge) served up 12 straight points and R-MC took the lead 18-4. They allowed just one more Hollins point before freshman Mackenzie Loewe (Leonardtown, Md. / St. Mary's Ryken) served the final five points and Randolph-Macon won 25-5. The Yellow Jackets did not commit a single error in the first set, posting an impressive hitting percent of .778.

Hollins jumped out to the early 3-0 lead in set two. R-MC battled back to a 5-5 tie before the two teams began small rallies back and forth. It wasn't until the game was tied 13-13 that Randolph-Macon found its footing to advance the lead, pushing the score to 18-14 under the service of senior Rebecca McGilvery (Warrenton, Va. / Kettle Run), who had three service aces in a row. The Yellow Jackets were eventually able to put Hollins away 25-17.

In set three, Randolph-Macon took the early lead, but Hollins fought back, tying the set at three apiece. Tender went on another serving tear when R-MC got the service back at 7-4 and fired off 11 straight points before allowing a side-out to Hollins, taking the score to 18-4. Again, Loewe finished the set off with six straight serves, including a service ace, to ensure R-MC got the set three victory 25-12.

Randolph-Macon was led by sophomore Miranda Hall (Mechanicsville, Va. / Hanover) who tallied 15 kills in 27 attempts. ODAC Player of the Week for last week, junior Mariah Clark (Stuarts Draft, Va./Riverheads) had four kills, as did McGilvery. Senior Morgan Seal (Midlothian, Va. / Midlothian) and sophomores Alexia Wolfe (Midlothian, Va. / James River), Bailey Jones (Suffolk, Va. / Norfolk Collegiate) and Kai Cunningham (Virginia Beach, Va. / Kempsville) each had three kills as well. Freshman Becca Madgwick (Ashburn, Va. / Stone Bridge) also made a kill on three attempts.

Defensively, R-MC was led by senior Julia Stech (Chester, Va. / LC Bird) who tallied 11 digs while Loewe added nine. McGilvery also checked in with seven digs in the match.

At the net, R-MC was dominant once again with assisted blocks. Jones blocked three volleys while Clark blocked two. senior Colleen Beaver (Fredericksburg, Va. / Massaponax), junior Emily Fitzwater (Bealeton, Va. / Liberty), Wolfe and McGilvery each blocked one as well.

Tender was the team's assist leader with 12. Senior Erin Quinn (Morrisville, N.C. / Cardinal Gibbons) and freshman Emma Young (Highland Park, Ill. / Highland Park) threw in eight assists each to the team's efforts while sophomore Emily Steffan (Salem, Va. / Salem) tallied six assists.

Some of the most impressive statistics came in service though. R-MC totaled nine service aces with Stech and McGilvery each totaling three. Loewe, Young and sophomore Bre Lockhart (Roanoke, Va. / Hidden Valley) each found a service ace as well in the match.

R-MC will continue its road trip this week to Huntingdon, Pa. to face Juniata. The Eagles are ranked #12 in the country in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III women's volleyball poll. Randolph-Macon received votes in that poll but has not yet cracked the Top 25 this season. The game is set for Friday, October 6 at 6:00 PM. The last time R-MC faced a ranked opponent was earlier this season when it beat then #7 Mary Washington in Fredericksburg 3-1.