ASHLAND, Va. --- Second-seeded Washington and Lee University and top-seeded Randolph-Macon College traded jabs in the ODAC Volleyball Tournament championship match on Saturday afternoon in Ashland as each team won a set before a 15-8 result in the decisive fifth frame saw the Generals' captains lift the conference trophy.
The victory not only improved W&L's record to 21-12, but awarded the Generals an ODAC volleyball record 16th league crown. It is their first since 2014. Randolph-Macon, competing in its fourth straight championship match, saw its season close with a 21-11 mark.
Washington and Lee's campaign will continue in the NCAA Division III Tournament as the Generals earn the ODAC's automatic entry to the field. The selection show for the national bracket is set for Monday, November 5, at 12:30 p.m. ET on www.ncaa.com.
RELATED: ODAC Championship History | NCAA Division III Volleyball Homepage
It was a "right-court" match in Crenshaw Gym on the campus of Randolph-Macon College as each set win came on the right side of the floor from the benches' perspective. Washington and Lee powered its way to a 25-18 win in set one behind 16 kills, but it was the Yellow Jackets that registered 16 winners on a .333 attack percentage to claim the second frame, 25-17.
The Generals collected a match-high 18 kills and hit at a .395 clip to win the third set, 25-20. Randolph-Macon returned the favor in the fourth set with a reverse 25-20 victory behind 13 team kills and aided by a match-high eight attacking errors from W&L.
In the fifth set, W&L ran out to a 5-2 edge that led to R-MC head coach Bill Rogers calling a timeout. His squad responded with a kill by middle hitter Emily Fitzwater, but six of the ensuing nine points posted to W&L's side of the scoreboard leading to a second Yellow Jackets timeout.
Again R-MC responded with a point, but W&L rattled off three markers with two involving Kiera Borthwick via a block assist with Anna Soroka and a kill before Miranda Hall returned serve to R-MC with a kill. But the next rally would prove to be the last as the final Yellow Jackets attack attempt went wide for a 15-8 Generals triumph.
Allison Webb and Meg Guignon tied for match-high honors with 19 kills apiece. Webb hit .350 and added four blocks while Guignon hit .312 to go with 14 digs, two aces, and two blocks. Brynne Gould chipped in 11 kills and two blocks. Soroka handed out a match-high 50 assists to go with 10 digs and three blocks. Elly Cosgrove registered a match-best 27 digs. Borthwick finished with seven blocks, matching her season-high for a third time.
Hall joined Webb and Guignon with 19 kills at a .180 clip to go with six digs. Mariah Clark, Emily Fitzwater, and Alexia Wolfe each hammered out 10 kills. Fitzwater and fellow middle Sydney Koch combined for 18 kills and just one error on 36 attacks for a .472 attack percentage. Wolfe added 16 digs to her line, while Mackenzie Loewe picked up a team-best 23 digs to go with six assists. R-MC's two setter system saw Macquire Gubba post 26 helpers with Angela Tender adding 24 assists.
Rachel Gaston | Bridgewater College
Kristina Scott | Virginia Wesleyan University
Angela Tender | Randolph-Macon College
Alexia Wolfe | Randolph-Macon College
Meg Guignon | Washington and Lee University
Anna Soroka | Washington and Lee University
Allison Webb | Washington and Lee University