ATLANTA – Randolph-Macon women's volleyball split its second day at the Emory National Invitational as the team wraps up the regular season. Randolph-Macon finishes 18-10 overall and finished the conference season on Wednesday with a final record in the ODAC of 11-1.
Birmingham-Southern 3, Randolph-Macon 1
In the first set and against the third-ranked team in the region, Randolph-Macon jumped out to the 3-2 lead before BSC make a four-point run to jump ahead 8-5. R-MC tied the se at 11-11, but BSC (23-5) was able to keep the distance for the remainder of the set and ended it on an 8-1 run to win 25-16.
Randolph-Macon, the fourth-ranked team in the region, began the next set on a quick start, jumping ahead 4-1. BSC returned with a trio of kills to tie the set at 4-4. After finding a tie at 5-5, Randolph-Macon made a 7-2 run to get ahead 12-7, forcing a timeout for Birmingham-Southern. That timeout launched a 9-1 run for the Panthers to give them the 17-13 lead. As the teams traded points through the rest of the set, that run was enough to earn BSC the 25-20 win.
For the third set in a row, Randolph-Macon started out on a run. Senior Mariah Clark (Stuarts Draft, Va. / Riverheads) made a kill to start a 5-0 run for the Yellow Jackets. Within the run, junior Miranda Hall (Mechanicsville, Va. / Hanover) tallied a pair of service aces, while fellow junior Alexia Wolfe (Midlothian, Va. / James River) made a kill as well. R-MC went on another large run to go up 11-4 as Clark and freshman Sydney Koch (Raleigh, N.C. / Sanderson) each made a kill and freshman Madison Warlick (Charlottesville, Va. / Albemarle) tallied a service ace. With the solid lead, R-MC inched to the finish, keeping ahead of BSC the whole way and earning the set victory 25-17.
The fourth set was much closer towards the beginning. The teams traded points until Koch got a kill to put R-MC ahead 7-6. But BSC hit a 9-1 run to trade leads and took a 15-8 lead. Another four straight points for the Panthers pushed them ahead 19-9, though R-MC mounted a strong finish, getting four of five points as BSC worked around set point, but the Panthers were able to finish with the set and match win 25-19.
R-MC hit .359 in the second set and .306 in the third set, gaining 16 and 13 kills in those two sets respectively. Wolfe, Clark, Hall and Koch all tallied eight kills, with Koch leading the team in hitting percentage at, making just two errors on 18 attacks. Senior Emily Fitzwater (Bealeton, Va. / Liberty) made seven kills as well, and she led the Yellow Jackets with five blocks, including one that was a solo effort. Junior Bailey Jones (Suffolk, Va. / Norfolk Collegiate) made six kills and three blocks in the match.
Wolfe and Warlick led the Yellow Jackets defensively with 14 and 13 digs respectively. Junior Angela Tender (Manassas, Va. / Stone Bridge) led the team with 21 assists while sophomore Emma Young (Highland Park, Ill. / Highland Park) made nine and freshman Macguire Gubba (Grove City, Pa. / Grove City Area) made eight.
Randolph-Macon 3, Salem 0
Randolph-Macon hit .374 against the Spirts (12-16) in the final match of the Invitational. That included a .765 percentage in the first set, in which the Yellow Jackets made no errors on 17 attacks.
After playing to a 3-3 tie in the first set, R-MC jumped ahead on a 6-2 run, leading 9-5. R-MC got another five of the next six points and then finished the set on a 9-0 run to get the 25-9 victory.
Salem again played a close first few points, but R-MC jumped ahead 8-4 using a trio of kills by freshman Danielle Larosa (Charlottesville, Va. / Albemarle), Clark and junior Kai Cunningham (Virginia Beach, Va. / Kempsville). R-MC got another four points in a row and used two more 3-0 runs to finish the set until Cunningham got the final point for R-MC to win 25-16.
For the third set in a row, R-MC took an early lead, going up 8-4. With the lead at 10-7, the Yellow Jackets got ahead 17-8 with a 7-1 run. R-MC finished the set and match on a 6-1 run to win 25-14.
Clark led the Yellow Jackets with nine kills, followed by Hall with seven. Nine different Yellow Jackets contributed a kill in the match.
R-MC was led defensively by sophomore Mackenzie Loewe (Leonardtown, Md. / St. Mary's Ryken) with 11 digs, while Warlick threw in eight. Larosa led R-MC at the net, making five blocks, while Wolfe had three and Clark had two. Koch made three service aces while Wolfe, Warlick and Hall each had two in the match.
Junior Emily Steffan (Salem, Va. / Salem) led the team with 16 assists, with Gubba adding 12. Young and Loewe each had five.
Randolph-Macon will be the #1 seed in the upcoming Old Dominion Athletic Conference Tournament. R-MC will host a quarterfinal match on Wednesday evening against the eighth-seeded Randolph WildCats. A time will be determined later.