WildCats Split on Day One of Maroon Classic

A dig by Troxell
A dig by Troxell

SALEM, Va. – Despite falling 3-1 (17-25, 27-25, 24-26, 8-25) to Methodist University early on in the afternoon, the Randolph College volleyball team managed to bounce back with a 3-0 (25-7, 25-14, 25-7) triumph over Mary Baldwin College at the Maroon Classic hosted by Roanoke College on Friday.

Game 1: Methodist 3, Randolph 1

Despite a 5-all score early on in the opening set, the Monarchs rattled off seven points to run away with the lead. Methodist remained ahead of Randolph but the WildCats slowly started to chip away at the score, decreasing the deficit to two (17-15). However, the Monarchs pushed an 8-2 run to take the win.

The second set saw the score tie 11 times. Methodist held a slight edge over the WildCats for most of the frame but Randolph pushed onward and eventually overtook the Monarchs off of a 5-0 burst, forcing Methodist into a timeout. Coming out of the break, the WildCats maintained their advantage but Methodist quickly sliced the deficit to level the score at 23-all. Both teams battled for the win but a kill by Lauren Morgan (Bedford, Va./Liberty) followed by a Methodist attack error sealed the win for Randolph, bringing the teams to one win apiece.

Similar to the first two stanzas, Methodist was once again in the lead with the WildCats hot on its tail for most of the way until the Monarchs expanded their advantage by a margin of five (21-16). Randolph pulled out an 8-3 run to level the score to 24-all but back-to-back kills delivered the win to the Monarchs.

Methodist picked up a 10-0 lead in the final set and never looked back as the Monarchs charged forward to collect a 25-8 triumph, claiming the match win.

Autumn Troxell (Front Royal, Va./Warren County) led the team with seven kills and 16 digs while Rebecca Lesnak (Blountville, Tenn./Sullivan Central) also recorded seven kills and added six digs. Morgan and Shelby Bergum (Terrebonne, Ore./Redmond) each finished the match with five kills while Mackenzie Ambrose (Floyd, Va./Floyd County) chipped in eight digs in her college debut and Brooks Gillerlain (Suffolk, Va./Nansemond-Suffolk Academy) dished out 17 assists for the WildCats.

Game 2: Randolph 3, Mary Baldwin 0

The WildCats repeated their success from Tuesday by taking another 3-0 victory over the Fighting Squirrels.

Randolph easily claimed a first set triumph of 25-7 but Mary Baldwin fought back in the second set. The Fighting Squirrels grabbed a brief 4-3 lead over the WildCats but Randolph rattled off five points to jump in front. However, Mary Baldwin remained close behind, trimming the deficit to 8-all before pulling ahead off of a 3-0 run. Still it would not be enough to outrun the WildCats who pushed a 12-2 spurt for a 20-13 advantage. After a brief timeout taken by Mary Baldwin, a 4-0 burst by the WildCats brought them to set point before a service error sent the ball to the other side of the court, but fortunately Morgan delivered the final kill to conclude the set and cement the win for Randolph.

The WildCats were hot out of the gates in the final frame, securing an 11-3 lead which would only increase as Randolph eased its way to a 25-7 set triumph to clinch its second win of the season.

Ambrose paced the WildCats, recording six kills while Olivia Pullin (Roanoke, Va./Patrick Henry) added five kills and Morgan and Troxell each tallied four kills. Lesnak, Taylor Webb (Nassawadox, Va./Northampton) and Kennedy Moulton (Springfield, Va./West Springfield) concluded the match with three kills apiece. Defensively, Sam Verhaagen (Virginia Beach, Va./Salem) led the team with 10 digs while Troxell chipped in seven digs and Michaela Jamrozek (Madison, Va./United Christian Academy) added four. Gillerlain distributed 18 assists while Webb dished out seven.

Randolph (2-5) is back tomorrow for the second day of the Maroon Classic where the WildCats will face off against Sewanee College at 1 p.m., followed by a 5 p.m. match up with Ferrum College.