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Women’s Volleyball Comeback Bid Falls Short In First Round of NCAA Tournament

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Down 2-0, Randolph-Macon Women's Volleyball mounted a comeback, earning a set win in the third set and held Marymount at bay for much of the fourth frame, but the Saints were able to overcome a late deficit to win and advance in the NCAA Tournament Friday evening.

The Basics

Score: Marymount 3, Randolph-Macon 1 (25-18, 25-21, 25-27, 25-21)

Location/Venue: Newport News, Va./The Freeman Center

Records: Marymount (25-10), Randolph-Macon (25-9)

How It Happened

  • Early in the first frame, neither team got ahead by more than two as the Yellow Jackets and the Saints fought to an 8-8 tie. Marymount got ahead on a 6-1 run before R-MC returned the favor with four straight. But the Yellow Jackets never could get back on top and Marymount won the set 25-18.
  • Randolph-Macon took an early edge in the second set. The Yellow Jackets advanced a 13-7 lead on a pair of kills from senior Bailey Jones (Suffolk, Va. / Norfolk Collegiate) and another by senior Miranda Hall (Mechanicsville, Va. / Hanover). But a 9-4 run helped Marymount tie the set at 17-17, forcing an R-MC timeout. Out of the break, Marymount continued its march to the finish, grabbing the 25-21 set victory.
  • The third set was the closest of the evening. With seven lead changes and 13 ties, the largest lead for either team early was just three points, which Marymount attained twice through the middle stages of the frame. One of those ties was an R-MC surge to tie the set at 14, but the Yellow Jackets soon fell behind by four points at 16-20. A 7-1 Randolph-Macon run helped shift momentum in the period though. The Yellow Jackets got ahead 23-21 and had set point at 24-22. Marymount was able to rattle off three points to have its own set point at 25-24, this one for the match. But the Yellow Jackets shut the sweep attempt down, using a pair of kills from Hall and a Marymount attack error to grab the set 27-25 and force a fourth frame.
  • The Yellow Jackets fought ahead to a 6-4 lead in the fourth game. R-MC used that advantage to get ahead 16-9 and force a Marymount timeout. That break helped the Saints regroup as Marymount got a 9-3 run out of the timeout, which left the R-MC lead at just four. After an R-MC timeout, Marymount again regrouped and was able to close out the set with eight of the next 10 to win the frame and the match 25-21.

Inside The Numbers

  • Jones and freshman Grace Parker (Andover, N.J. / Pope John XXIII) each tallied 14 kills, which were team-highs. Hall was close behind with 12.
  • Senior Angela Tender (Manassas, Va. / Stone Bridge) offered 28 assists. Sophomore Macguire Gubba (Grove City, Pa. / Grove City Area School District) made 15 successful passes on the night as well.
  • Senior Kai Cunningham (Virginia Beach, Va. / Kempsville) made seven blocks on the night. She was followed by Jones, who made four. Jones led the team tonight with 16 points in total.
  • Sophomore Mackenzie Loewe (Leonardtown, Md. / St. Mary's Ryken) led the team defensively with 25 digs. Parker grabbed a new season-high of 18 digs.
  • Gubba, Cunningham and sophomore Madison Warlick (Charlottesville, Va. / Albemarle) each had a service ace tonight.

Season Concludes

This game concludes the Yellow Jackets' season. For the senior class, this season marks the third NCAA appearance of their careers. The team won a pair of ODAC Tournament Championships and has claimed the ODAC Regular Season title in each of their four years on campus. The seven seniors include Cunningham, Hall, Jones and Tender, as well as Alexia Wolfe (Midlothian, Va. / James River), Bre Lockhart (Roanoke, Va. / Hidden Valley), Emily Steffan (Salem, Va. / Salem). Hall and Tender will both leave R-MC with spots on R-MC Top 10 lists for most career kills and assists respectively.