Randolph-Macon Volleyball Escapes Emory & Henry, 3-2, In Five-Set Thriller Friday
EMORY, Va. – The Randolph-Macon College Volleyball Team (17-5, 8-0 ODAC) needed all five sets in order to escape their first conference loss of the year Friday evening. The Yellow Jackets were just able to pull out the 3-2 (23-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-27, 16-14) win over the Wasps of Emory & Henry College (15-8, 5-4 ODAC). The contest featured 41 ties and 16 lead changes among the five sets in what could only be described as a battle.
Emory & Henry got out to a 1-0 lead after the first stanza. The Wasps got a four-point lead (8-4) early on but the Yellow Jackets battled back and were able to take a 16-12 advantage. E&H would not be undone and tied the contest at 18 points apiece. Ties at 19 and 20 set up a race to five points as the Wasps came away with the win on a kill by freshman outside hitter Hannah Stewart (Boone, N.C.). For the set, Emory & Henry hit .250 (15-4-44) with middles Nicole Tesh (Boone, N.C.) and Kim Caudill (Galax, Va.) combining for nine kills.
In the second frame, Randolph-Macon used a 10-3 run to build an 18-13 lead and held on through a rally by Emory & Henry to close the gap to 22-19. The Yellow Jackets got three of the next four points to even the score 1-1 as they attacked at a .220 (15-6-41) percentage for the period.
R-MC took a 2-1 lead after the third set. E&H was able to get up 13-7 midway through the frame but the Yellow Jackets rallied with an 11-3 run to close the set and take the lead in the match.
The Wasps battled back and evened the score after hitting .400 (17-3-35) in the fourth. Neither team was able to get a decisive lead as the score was tied 11 times in the set. Randolph-Macon had two set points, but was turned away as back-to-back kills by Tesh forced the fifth and deciding set.
In the fifth, Emory & Henry got out to a 7-3 lead, but the score would be 8-5 before the two squads switched courts. A 5-2 scoring spurt by Randolph-Macon tied the score at 10 and once again the race was on. There would be ties and 11, 13 and 14 but reigning ODAC player of the year Mallory Carter sealed the match for R-MC with kills on the final two points of the contest.
For the match, the Yellow Jackets attacked at a .215 (67-28-181) clip while the Wasps put up a 66-30-191 (.188) performance. Randolph-Macon won the battle on the serve with eight aces and three errors compared to three aces and eight errors for Emory & Henry.
Emory & Henry senior outside hitter Jamie Cockerham (Galax, Va.) led all players with 23 kills in the match as she hit .250 (23-8-60) and added 20 digs and four blocks. Tesh finished the match with 14 kills and five blocks while Stewart had 12 kills. Caudill had a Happy Birthday as she posted 11 kills, six digs and three blocks. Sophomore setter Maleah Neely (Hillsville, Va.) posted a career-high 57 assists, just four off the school record and added 11 digs. Junior Kelly Mae Kerlin (Franklin, Tenn.) led all players with 21 digs in the match.
Carter paced the Yellow Jackets with 19 kills and 14 digs while Courtney Lowers had 14 kills of her own. Hilary Jessee had 12 kills and seven blocks and Tory Puryear notched 11 kills and six blocks in the contest. Bailey Troia and Riley Martin split the setting duties with 33 and 29 assists, respectively. Marli Dabareiner had a team-high 20 digs while Jessica Sears added 18 digs of her own.
Emory & Henry will return to Bob Johnson Court on Saturday morning at 11:00 a.m. The Wasps will take on the Marlins of Virginia Wesleyan College in the first of four home contests for E&H on Homecoming Day.