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Early Test, but Bulky Home Slate Awaits Women’s Basketball in 2017-18

Kelly Williams makes a layup

Ashland, Va. – The Randolph-Macon women's basketball program will face its toughest test of the season in its first game out on November 15 when it faces the Saints of Marymount University (Va.). It leads a slate of basketball matchups that feature a pair of tournaments, including one R-MC is hosting, as well as always critical ODAC matchups. Randolph-Macon will face three opponents who made appearances in the NCAA Tournament last season.

The Yellow Jackets prepare to mount an attack in 2017-18 with a whole host of returners. The youth of the 2016-17 team, which went 16-12, has turned into an experience advantage for this year. Sophomore Kelly Williams (Garysburg, N.C. / Halifax Academy) returns in 2017. She was the team's top scorer last year, scoring 18.5 per game. Williams also led the team with 13.1 rebounds per game. The team will also welcome two freshmen this season

It all gets started on November 15, against the Saints of Marymount (Va.) in the Center of the Universe. The Saints went 24-6 last year and, despite losing the Capital Athletic Conference championship to the University of Mary Washington, found success in the NCAA Tournament. They beat Guilford and Albright before losing to #3 St. Thomas (Minn.) in the sectional semifinals. Marymount, like the Yellow Jackets, return a core group of underclassman and only lost a single senior from last year's team.

The game is just the first of six straight home games to kick off the season in Ashland. R-MC then hosts the Tip-Off Classic as Juniata, Methodist and Bridgewater will all find their way to Crenshaw Gymnasium to play a pair of games on November 17 and 18. R-MC will play the Juniata Eagles on Friday, followed by the Methodist Monarchs on Saturday.

The Builders of The Apprentice School visit R-MC after the Classic with a game on Tuesday, November 21. R-MC will open Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) play against Washington & Lee a week later on November 28. W&L went 12-14 last year and won its first round game in last year's ODAC tournament. R-MC split last year's series with the Generals, winning early in the season 84-76, but losing later 74-68.

December will begin with Mid-Atlantic Christian University in Ashland on December 2. The Yellow Jackets then go on the road for the first time to visit another early ODAC opponent, Hollins, on December 5.

After the exam week break, R-MC will travel to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to participate in the Cruzin Classic tournament. The tournament will take place December 17 and 18 at the Greater Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center. The tournament competition will include Lawrence University and Lycoming College.

Randolph-Macon will return to Ashland for a match just before New Year's with Johns Hopkins University. The Blue Jays and the Yellow Jackets will play on December 30 at 7:00 P.M.

"We are excited about some new and different opponents on our schedule this year to add to the tough competition we face in the ODAC," head coach Carroll LaHaye said.  "We are also fortunate through the fundraising events our team does to be traveling to Ft. Lauderdale to compete against some out of region teams. This schedule should be an interesting one for our team.  We are looking forward to getting started in October."

With the New Year comes the full ODAC schedule. The Yellow Jackets will take on Shenandoah, likely in its opening game in a new arena, on January 2nd at 7:00 in Winchester. That's followed by a road game against Eastern Mennonite on January 6th, who checked in at 17-8 last year. While EMU won the regular season tilt, R-MC beat the Royals in the ODAC quarterfinals.

Randolph-Macon continues its run through the ODAC with home games against Virginia Wesleyan University on January 9th and Hollins University on January 13th. R-MC had the better of the Marlins once last season out of two tries.

Randolph College will host R-MC on January 16th in Lynchburg. The Wildcats checked in at 13-14 last year. The Yellow Jackets return to Lynchburg four days later to take on Lynchburg College, one of the better ODAC teams last year at 23-7. R-MC split the season series with LC last year, losing 68-55 early in 2017, but later fought for the win in the second match, beating the Hornets 77-75. Lynchburg appeared in the ODAC Championship game, losing to Guilford, but still earning an NCAA tournament appearance where they beat Catholic before dropping a second round game to Christopher Newport.

Shenandoah and Roanoke visit Ashland on January 23 and January 27 respectively before the team finishes the month at Virginia Wesleyan on January 30.

Emory & Henry begins the month of February in the Center of the Universe. The Wasps, who were 19-8 a year ago, played two games in the ODAC Tournament, losing to eventual tournament champs, Guilford. R-MC beat E&H last season 62-58. That game is on February 3 at 4:30 P.M.

Bridgewater College visits R-MC on February 6. The Eagles were another team that the Yellow Jackets split the season series with last year.

Reigning ODAC Tournament Champions, the Guilford Quakers, host Randolph-Macon on February 10. R-MC lost twice to Guilford last year and the Quakers checked in at 24-4 last season, besting all the other teams in the ODAC for season record. They lost in their first round NCAA game to Marymount.

The season finishes off with a home game against Lynchburg and a road game in Roanoke against the Maroons.

The ODAC Tournament is set for February 19, 22, 24 and 25, with the first round being at campus sites and the final three rounds in Salem.