R-MC ousts volleyball from ODAC tournament semifinals

Mesa Willis digs out an attack.

Ashland, Va. -- The Lynchburg College volleyball team's season came to an end Friday evening in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference semifinals as top-seeded Randolph-Macon took the match in straight sets, 25-21, 25-15, 25-22.

The Yellow Jackets' block was dominant in the semifinal match, resulting in eight R-MC blocks and holding the Lynchburg hitters to just a .076 hitting percentage in the match.

Mesa Willis (Dabneys, Va.) led the Hornet attack, putting down a team-high eight kills in her final match in a Lynchburg uniform. Lynn Walsh (Columbia, Md.) doled out 16 assists to finish her career as the fourth-most prolific setter in program history; she totaled 1,929 assists in a stellar four-year career.

Senior middle Amanda Wrightson (Toms River, N.J.) had four blocks in her final match, while sophomore libero Lauren Stanford (Mechanicsville, Va.) dug out 21 Yellow Jacket attacks.

Mariah Clark led the way for R-MC with nine kills and five aces.

 

THE RUNDOWN

Final: No. 1 Randolph-Macon 3, No. 5 Lynchburg 0 (25-21, 25-15, 25-22)

Records: Randolph-Macon 22-6, Lynchburg 17-8

Venue: Crenshaw Gymnasium, Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, Va.

 

HOW IT HAPPENED

- Lynchburg led the first set, 21-19, after a Lindsey Lang (Poquoson, Va.) kill, but Randolph-Macon set the tone for the rest of the match with six straight points to win the opener.

- The Yellow Jackets made their run earlier in the second, rattling off six straight points to expand a one-point lead to a 15-8 advantage. R-MC took the set, 25-15.

- After Randolph-Macon took a 21-15 lead in the third with runs of five and four straight points, Lynchburg clawed back into the set late. Willis and Lang made consecutive kills to cut the deficit back to four, and after a Yellow Jackets point, Wrightson teamed up with Willis and Sydney Frink (Chester, Va.) for back-to-back blocks. The Hornets got the deficit to 23-22, but Randolph-Macon sealed the match with an Emily Fitzwater kill and a Clark ace.

 

LOOKING BACK

The 2017 season was a success for Lynchburg volleyball. The Hornets put together back-to-back seasons of 17 wins or more for the first time since 2011-12 and reached the ODAC semifinals for the second-consecutive year. Walsh and Wrightson leave the program with a mark in the record books, breaking into the top seven in program history in assists and blocks, respectively.

The Hornets also got head coach Elizabeth Ellinger her 200th-career win, which came Sept. 10 at Greensboro College. Willis was named the ODAC's first player of the week this season on Sept. 5.

--LC--