ATLANTA, Ga. – Randolph-Macon took the first and fourth sets while #8 Emory took sets two and three, but the deciding set went to the hosts as R-MC dropped just its fifth game of 2017, 3-2 (25-20, 18-25, 21-25, 25-17, 6-15). R-MC is now 20-5 overall on the season. Emory (23-5) is ranked second in the region, while R-MC checks in at fourth.
In set one, R-MC started out with the first four points in a row, taking the 4-0 lead. R-MC extended the lead to 6-2, 7-4 and 8-5 before firing off another four points to take the score to 11-5. The Yellow Jackets never relinquished the lead as they continued to trade points with Emory while keeping the advantage. They found four more points in a row to take the score from 19-14 to 22-14. Emory mounted a small comeback, but R-MC finished the set 5-4.
R-MC was led by sophomore Miranda Hall (Mechanicsville, Va. / Hanover) in set one with five kills while junior Emily Fitzwater (Bealeton, Va. / Liberty) added three kills. Julia Stech (Chester, Va. / LC Bird) had a service ace. Senior Erin Quinn (Morrisville, N.C. / Cardinal Gibbons) had five assists. Senior Colleen Beaver (Fredericksburg, Va. / Massaponax) led the team with three blocks while sophomore Alexia Wolfe (Midlothian, Va. / James River) added two. R-MC hit .108 in the set while Emory hit only .073.
Randolph-Macon again jumped out to the four point lead in the second set, but Emory came storming back and after a few points traded, tied the match at 6-6. That was the last time Randolph-Macon would be close as Emory went on a six point run to double the score at 12-6. Emory took the lead up to 21-14, before closing out the Yellow Jackets at 25-18.
The third set featured Emory getting out to the lead 3-0. Randolph-Macon fought back and tied the score at 4-4 after Emory got another point in the midst of the early Yellow Jacket rally. The teams traded small runs until finding a 12-12 tied game. That's when Emory went on a tear with five straight points, taking the 17-12 lead. But R-MC fought back -- fighting to the 19-22 and 21-23 deficit. But Emory got the final two points to win 25-21.
Emory took the first three points of the fourth set as well. But after a 6-6 tie, it was all Randolph-Macon's set. R-MC rallied off the next 10 of 11 to a 16-7 lead. Emory could never could back, though it tried with a three-point rally to a 19-12 R-MC advantage. The Eagles tried again with a three-point rally to move from a 24-15 to 24-17 deficit. But, the Yellow Jackets secured the final point to win 25-17. Randolph-Macon hit .324 in the set, making just two errors.
R-MC got the first point of the fifth set, but Emory found the next eight of nine points, taking the 8-2 lead. R-MC got a pair of points, dropping the Eagle lead to 8-4. But Emory closed the match out with more points to take their lead to 13-4 before giving up just two more Yellow Jacket points before closing R-MC out 15-6. Emory didn't make a single error in the deciding set.
Hall led all scorers on the court with 20 kills while junior Mariah Clark (Stuarts Draft, Va. / Riverheads) tallied 10 total. Senior Rebecca McGilvery (Warrenton, Va. / Kettle Run) also had nine kills.
Quinn led the team with 25 assists while Tender also set-up her teammates with 16 assists
Beaver led the team at the net with seven blocks, including one solo effort. Wolfe added five while Fitzwater totaled four, including a solo block.
Randolph-Macon continues at the Emory National Invitational tomorrow. They take on Birmingham-Southern at 12:30 PM. BSC is ranked sixth in the region.