ASHLAND, Va. – Senior Samantha Sallade (Newport News, Va. / Peninsula Catholic) rose to first place in Old Dominion Athletic Conference history for digs in a career after tallying 20 digs in the match against Emory & Henry on Saturday. She now has 1,989 digs in her career, 15 more than the previous record-holder Twyla Sessor of Emory & Henry. Sessor played from 2006-2009.
Sallade exploded into the top 10 this year after starting her senior year with 1,583 digs. That was 57 behind the previous holder of the #10 spot, Savannah Tinsley of Lynchburg with 1,640. Tinsley played from 2007-2009. Sallade has collected 406 digs with four matches to go in the 2017 season.
Sallade's total will also be an R-MC school record. Randolph-Macon now has three of the Top 5 career dig leaders in ODAC history. Marli Dabareiner (2010-13) and Michelle Kutcher sit at #3 and #5 with 1,897 and 1,783 respectively.
Randolph-Macon has clinched the regular season title in the ODAC this season. At 10-0 in the conference and 18-4 overall with one match to go, R-MC is guaranteed to host a quarterfinal match on November 1. Matchups and times will be determined later.
R-MC has a critical last conference match this Tuesday as the team takes on Virginia Wesleyan, the current ODAC #3. VWU is 8-2 in the ODAC and 16-8 overall.
Randolph-Macon finishes the season at the Emory National Invitational in Atlanta to take on Emory, Birmingham-Southern and repeat opponent Berry. Berry is one of just four losses the Yellow Jackets have had this season, when the Vikings beat R-MC 3-1 in Fredericksburg at the Mary Washington Invitational back on September 8.
#1 Berry and #2 Emory are two of the three teams that are ahead of R-MC in the NCAA's latest regional rankings. Checking in at #4 in the region, R-MC is also behind #3 Averett. The Yellow Jackets account for one of just two losses for the Cougars. Future opponent Birmingham-Southern is #5 in the region while fellow ODAC member Washington & lee is #6. Tuesday's opponent, Va. Wesleyan, is #7.
R-MC also received votes in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association poll on October 17. Berry also received votes in the same poll and Emory checked in at #10 in the poll.
Randolph-Macon's match with Va. Wesleyan is set for Tuesday at 7:00 PM at Crenshaw Gymnasium. The day will feature senior recognition for the team's six seniors.