By STEVE SILVERTHORNE
Despite jumping out to an early two-set lead over the Yellow Jackets, the Mary Washington volleyball team could not hold on, as Randolph-Macon College took the next three sets to clinch the game on Tuesday night at the William M. Anderson Center.
This marked the Eagles first loss of the season, as their record falls to 5-1 on the year. UMW won the first set against the Yellow Jackets, 25-21, thanks to a final kill from senior Tola Adebanjo. The Eagles went on to win the second set, 25-22, before Randolph-Macon rallied to win the third set, 25-19, and the fourth, 25-23.
In the game deciding fifth set, the Yellow Jackets continued their hot streak to clinch the victory in a tightly contested 15-13 win.
Although it was a tough loss for the Eagles to swallow after they squandered a commanding lead, the only silver lining was that it was an out of conference match for UMW.
Adebanjo led the Eagles with 11 kills, while juniors Laura Gomez and Ellen Smethurst both had great games as well, each adding 10 kills. Junior Karissa Herrick had seven blocks (four solo), sophomore Kaitlynn Wickersham had 19 digs and seven kills, while senior Katie Shiflett led UMW with her 35 assists.
Freshman Kayla Crawford says that in order bounce back from the loss and get the win in their next game, the Eagles have some corrections to make.
“[We] must execute and [we] need to keep our mental toughness and focus throughout the entire game,” Crawford said.
The Eagles had their chance to rebound from the disappointing Randolph-Macon loss quickly, as they traveled to Deleware to take on Wesley College last night. This was UMW’s most important game to date, as it was the start of the conference season. Mary Washington responded to easily dispose of the Wolverines 3-0 (25-15, 25-22, 25-19).
The volleyball team will next take the court this weekend, as they play three games on Friday and Saturday as a part of tournament. The Eagles first opponent will be the City College of New York on Friday at 7:30 p.m.