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Randolph Falls In Tough, Defensive Battle

Pullin and Bergum going for the block.
Pullin and Bergum going for the block.

For Immediate Release – 9/21/16 - #052
Randolph Falls In Tough, Defensive Battle

GREENSBORO, NC – The Randolph College volleyball team played Guilford College in a very close match on Wednesday.  The WildCats fell to their Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) rivals in four sets, 25-23, 27-29, 19-25, and 20-25.  The match featured over 170 total digs and 21 total blocks.

The home team jumped out to a lead early in the first set, going up 10-5.  However, the WildCats fought back right away, scoring five of the next six points to bring the team within one.  Autumn Troxell slammed home three Brooks Gillerlain passes, and Shelby Bergum added one as well during the run.  GC responded with two points, but Troxell started another quick burst to tie the score at 13-all.  Mariona had the other kill, while her and Olivia Pullin combined for a block.   The teams traded points over the next few minutes as the score was tied at 17.  The Quakers went up two more, but Randolph answered the bell with two again, as Gillerlain got a kill this time.  The pattern repeated itself, this time with Troxell and Pullin recording the kills.  Then, Guilford were within two points of winning, but the 'Cats rallied for four-straight and the match.  Rebecca Lesnak had the lone kill during the final run.

The second continued to have the two teams battling.  Randolph went up 8-3 to start the set.  Lesnak posted two kills, while Mariona served an ace during the stretch.  But, the Quakers closed the gap to two, before Troxell sent home another ball.  The lead did not last, as GC used a six-point burst to take the advantage.  Small runs were traded, with the hosts holding on at 19-15.  Mariona started another run with a kill, and aided Bergum in a block to bring the 'Cats within one.  However, Guilford came back with five of the next six to get to game point.  The WildCats made a valiant comeback, as Troxell and Taylor Webb produced kills to help tie the score at 24.  Bergum took the lead back at 26-25 with an ace, and after a tie, Troxell did the same with a kill, but Guilford closed out the set with three-straight.

In the third, the hosts used two early runs to push the lead to 12-4.  Randolph chipped away at the deficit, as Troxell had two more kills, Kennedy Webb served an ace, Lesnak had a kill, and once again Bergum and Mariona combined on a block.  After an exchange of points, Guilford used another burst to push the advantage to nine.  Once again Randolph attempted a comeback over the final stages of the set, bringing the score to within six, but it would get no closer.

GC took the first five of the fourth, but Troxell was there to stop the run, adding to her big night.  The teams traded a couple of points, with Troxell notching another slam, and Kennedy Webb serving an ace.  However, the Quakers extend the lead to seven over a series of points.  But the 'Cats answered again.  Bergum started it with a kill and served an ace.  Troxell and Gillerlain added kills to bring the visitors within three.  Mariona helped cut it to two, but Guilford used a timely run to push the lead to five.  After a switch of points, Lesnak started a run that brought Randolph within a point at 20-19.  Bergum also had a kill and Mariona pinpointed an ace.  But Guilford finished out the match with one more run.

Troxell was outstanding, tying a career-high of 19 kills.  She also recorded her fifth double-double with 18 digs on the night.  Lesnak followed her with a double-double of 10 each.  The team totaled 89 total digs, as Taylor and Kennedy Webb tallied 11 and 13 digs respectively, and Sam Verhaagen led the team with 21.  The final double-double belonged to Gillerlain, who dug 12 balls out, while assisting on 38 kills in the match.

Casey Davis led the Quakers (6-6 overall, 2-1 ODAC) with 17 kills and 15 digs.

Randolph (2-10, 0-3) returns home on Friday as part of Family Weekend.  The 'Cats start all athletics with a 6:30 p.m. match against Southern Virginia University (1-7).