WildCat Weekly: Volleyball Notes #4 – Guilford, Methodist
LYNCHBURG, VA – The Randolph College volleyball team has hit a snag of late, dropping its last eight matches coming into this week. The thing is that the team has shown fight, but hasn't been able to lock down the close matches at the end. Randolph has played in seven matches that have gone longer than three games, and it has yet to come away with a win in those matches. Of the seven, five have gone the distance, with Randolph dropping all of those five-set matches. The WildCats have a great opportunity to get back on track though this week, coming back to the Randolph Athletics and Dance (RAD) Center for two matches. The WildCats host Guilford College Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. before entertaining Methodist University Saturday at 2 p.m.
What to Watch For
The WildCats are better when they are getting contributions from multiple players offensively. Sophomore Jordan Templin (Ferrum, VA/Franklin Co.) has become the main option at the net, but other players like Grayce Darden (Martinsville, VA/Martinsville) and Sam Sublett (Bedford, VA/Staunton River) need to make the most of their chances. Darden averaged over 10 kills per match the week before last but only had 22 in the four matches last week. Also look for first-year Celine Rhodes (Barhamsville, VA/Jamestown) and Sydney Henson (Winston-Salem, NC/Ronald Reagan) to get chances to hit.
A Look at the Quakers
The Quakers of Guilford College come into tomorrow night's game with a 3-8 record, posting a 1-1 record in the ODAC. The Quakers have dropped four of their last five matches, with the lone win coming at Eastern Mennonite last week. First-year outside hitter Kelsey Ruehling has a team-leading 108 kills on the season, also chalking up 96 digs and 10 service aces. Malikah French has 80 kills and 17 blocks at the middle blocker position, while Brittany DeCesare has 59 kills, 12 aces and 68 digs. First-year libero Brooke Herr sits atop the digs category for Guilford, as she has thwarted 130 attacks on the season. Junior Meredith Foscue leads the team with 15 aces, and is second on the team with a .168 hitting percentage. Junior Taylor Whitley has a team-best 179 assists, and Foscue has added 91 helpers as well.
Against Guilford All-Time
The WildCats are 6-12 all-time against their foes from the Tar Heel State, with Guilford earning victories in its last four matches. Of the last six matches, only one has gone three games with that coming in 2010 in a 3-0 victory in Lynchburg for the Quakers. Randolph had won four of the previous five meetings before this current four-game winning streak for GC.
A Look at the Monarchs
Methodist University has bounced back from a tough start to the season, posting a 6-5 overall mark coming into the week. Stephanie Wood and Risa Smith each lead the team with 106 and 100 kills, respectively, while Kendra Krupp has 346 asssits already on the young season. The Monarchs have been great with the serve, chalking up 96 service aces already this week. MU has two players, Wood and Allison Graves, with more than 20 aces already. The net defense has also been stellar, as Hayley Williams leads the team with 35 total blocks, and Wood is right behind with 22. Libero Karly Klimas has 156 digs on the year, while Smith and Graves each have over 100 on the campaign.
Against Methodist All-Time
Randolph and MU have taken to the courts together 13 total times, with the Monarchs capturing 11 of those. Methodist has won the last four meetings, including one a couple weeks back at the Catholic University Tournament. Randolph's last win was September 5, 2008 in a five-set thriller in Salem, VA. Nine of the 13 meetings have also gone longer than three games.
Three Sets Is Nice
Of the two victories this season for Randolph, both have gone three games. The WildCats have knocked off Mary Baldwin College twice in three sets for each of their wins in 2012.
The WildCats have been solid in the back this year, as they are posting over 12 digs per set, 0.5 more than their opponents per game. Leading the way is sophomore Lexi Harrington (Clemmons, NC/West Forsyth), who leads the ODAC in digs currently with 198. Sophomore Jordan Templin is seventh in the league in digs with 140.
No Kill For You!
The WildCats defense at the net has been led by senior Sam Sublett, who currently ranks second in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference with 35 total blocks. She totaled nine rejections in a five-set loss at Shenandoah last week, the second-most in a game ever at Randolph.
Ace Up Your Sleeve
First-year Celine Rhodes has been great with the serve this year, chalking up 23 on the year to place her third in the conference in that category. Jordan Templin and Lexi Harrington are each also in the top 13 league-wide in aces.
The WildCats have struggled to receive serve at times, and it has cost them in big matches. Randolph has the most serve receive errors in the conference coming in, but they also have seen the most serves of any other squad in the league.
Dishing Out Kills
The WildCat passing tandem of Andrea Mewhinney (Sanford, NC/Overhills) and Kerry McMichael (Westminster, SC/West Oaks) has chalked up the fourth most assists in the conference with 434 to date.
Double Double Trouble
Jordan Templin has regained her defensive prowess from a year ago, and has again started to rack up the double-doubles. Templin has averaged a double-double in kills and digs over the last week, and has chalked up three in her last four matches.
Snap The Stretch
The WildCats are currently mired in an eight-match losing stretch, which matches the streak that Randolph finished the 2011 season on. Dating back to last year, Randolph has dropped 16 of its last 18 matches.
The WildCats will get a slow week next week, battling only North Carolina Wesleyan College September 28 at 6:30 pm in the RAD Center.