LYNCHBURG, VA – For the third time in the last five matches, Randolph College went to a fifth set Saturday but couldn't capture the all important game in dropping a non-conference match with Methodist University 3-2 in action from the Randolph Athletics and Dance (RAD) Center. Match scores finished as 21-25, 25-16, 16-25, 25-18 and 15-8.
The WildCats (2-13) looked fantastic in the first set, hitting at a .424 clip in earning the 1-0 lead. With the score at 16-15 Randolph in the first stanza, the WildCats put together a 6-1 run to pull away. Sophomore Jordan Templin (Ferrum, VA/Franklin Co.) posted five kills in the opening period, while Lexi Harrington (Clemmons, NC/West Forsyth) added six digs.
In the second game, Randolph couldn't get much going offensively, hitting at a negative percentage in falling by nine. The hosts would rebound with a great third set, posting kills on 11 of their 24 attacks (.435) in earning the 25-16 victory. During the game Grayce Darden (Martinsville, VA/Martinsville) had a five-point run at serve, adding four kills. Randolph also had four blocks in the set.
The fourth set was close at 10-8 MU, but a 6-1 run by the Monarchs pushed the game out of reach and would force a deciding fifth game. In the last set, Methodist took advantage of four attack errors in pulling away for the match victory.
Randolph was led by the 12 kills from by Darden and first-year Celine Rhodes (Barhamsville, VA/Jamestown).Templin finished with another double-double of 10 kills and 10 digs, and senior Sam Sublett (Bedford, VA/Staunton River) added eight kills on only 15 attempts, blocking four shots as well. Sophomore Kerry McMichael (Westminster, SC/West Oak) and first-year Andrea Mewhinney (Sanford, NC/Overhills) combined for 40 assists, and Harrington led all defenders with 17 digs. McMichael also contributed 10 digs in the match for Randolph, which hit at a .128 percentage for the game.
MU's Stephanie Wood led the match with 18 kills, posting a strong hitting percentage of .640. Risa Smith had 12 kills and 10 digs, and Brittany McCoy chalked up 10 kills and seven blocks. Hayley Williams was strong at the net defensively, blocking eight attacks for Methodist.
Randolph will return to action next Friday evening in the RAD Center when it plays host to the Battling Bishops of North Carolina Wesleyan College at 6:30 p.m.