ASHLAND, Va. – After its record-setting season with an appearance in the National Quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history, the Randolph-Macon volleyball team only climbed into the Top-20 in the final American Volleyball Coaches Association Poll, released Nov. 24.
Randolph-Macon was selected as No. 18.
R-MC had received votes in every AVCA Division III poll in the regular season but not enough votes to break into the Top-25.
Heading into the National Quarterfinals, the Yellow Jackets were No. 28.
All of the schools that were among the final eight teams in the NCAA Tournament are scattered across the Top-25. The three teams atop the final poll are the 2015 National Champion Cal Lutheran (31-5) followed by the runner-up, Wittenberg (29-3), and Carthage (35-8).
Hendrix was eighth followed by Bethel (25-10) as No. 11, Clarkson (30-9) in 13th, R-MC (28-8) as No. 18 and rounding out the Top-20 was Bowdoin (26-5).
The Yellow Jackets defeated Christopher Newport, who is ranked 14th in the final AVCA Poll, in a five-set thriller in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. R-MC dropped the first set to the Captains before winning the next two sets to hold a 2-1 advantage. The Yellow Jackets claimed the tiebreaker to advance to the Regional Final.
It was a record-setting season for the Yellow Jackets:
Randolph-Macon went 11-0 in conference play. Head coach, Bill Rogers, recorded his 300th career victory in a 3-0 win over Misericordia on Sept. 4. The Yellow Jackets headlined the conference awards with Rogers earning ODAC Coach of the Year and senior Courtney Lowers receiving Player-of-the-Year accolades. Joining Lowers on First Team All-ODAC were senior outside hitter Katie Rossberg and sophomore libero Samantha Sallade. Sophomore setter Erin Quinn received Second-Team honors.
R-MC claimed its fourth conference title to earn the ODAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Yellow Jackets made their fifth NCAA Tournament appearance and their first since 2012 in the Galloway Regional, hosted by Stockton University. R-MC defeated Stevenson 3-1 in the first round before conquering Christopher Newport and Stockton to advance to the National Quarterfinals for the first time in program history.
Randolph-Macon is the only school in ODAC to reach the National Quarterfinals in league history. Washington and Lee and R-MC were the only two schools in the league to advance to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. The Generals reached the Third Round in 2006 and the Yellow Jackets punched their ticket in 2010.
Several players etched their names on the R-MC All-Time List:
Lowers was the first student-athlete in R-MC volleyball history to receive a spot on the All-American list. An All-South Region selection and three-time ODAC Player of the Week this season, she has rewritten the record books. Lowers is Randolph-Macon's all-time leader in kills 1,467 kills and finishes the season with 506 winners, third in ODAC history and first on the R-MC single season list. She is the first player in the ODAC to reach 500 kills since 2004.
Rossberg, who received ODAC Player of the Week accolades this season, finished 2015 with 376 kills, sixth in program history, and moved up to seventh on the R-MC All-Time list with 1,057 winners.
Senior Riley Martin (Crozet, Va. / Western Albemarle) completed her career fifth on the R-MC All-Time List with 1,952 assists. She finished this season with 552 assists. Martin is also ninth on the All-Time list for service aces with 128.
Quinn finished the season with 696 assists, good for ninth in program history. She is also tenth on the R-MC Career List for assists with 1,161.
Sallade finished her sophomore season as the record holder for digs in a season with 611 and is eighth on the R-MC Career list with 1,079.
Colleen Beaver (Fredericksburg, Va. / Massaponax) completed her second season for the Yellow Jackets with 138 blocks in 2015, sixth in program history. She is 51 blocks away from grabbing the tenth spot on the R-MC All-Time List.
The full AVCA poll is available here: http://www.avca.org/divisions/division-three-women/poll-11-24-15/.
--R-MC Sports Information--