by KRANSTON BLAKEY
The women’s volleyball team started their season strong with a crushing victory over the Randolph-Macon College Yellow Jackets, defeating them in three sets. Three players in particular had a commanding presence: senior Krista Rodgers, junior Jordan Lyons and junior Dakota Hansen left it all on the court. Lyons finished with 11 kills, Rodgers with seven and Hansen with 12 digs.
Scoring the first three points of set one, the Eagles came out strong with an observable energy that continued through the game. Even when the Yellow Jackets scored, the Eagles were still smiling.
“It legitimately takes the whole team to win the game, whereas in other sports, other people can stand out, hog the ball a lot, but with volleyball, it takes all six girls on the court,” said sophomore undeclared major Hannah Livermon.
The Eagles led for most of the first set. Hansen’s dig prevented the Yellow Jackets from going on a run, making the score 16-10, and sophomore Sarah Moore scored the final point in the first set, leaving a score of 25-19.
“I also think our team especially has a lot of depth,” said sophomore Madison Van Buren, a computer science major. “There’s a lot of girls on the team. And lots of people get injured. I feel like it’s good to have depth and I feel like that’s something that’s very unique about UMW volleyball.”
Sophomore Lauren Foley started the second set with a well-controlled serve that earned UMW their first point of the set. The Eagles struggled to defend against some tips from the Yellow Jackets, but Foley answered with a deceptive push disguised as a set that caught both the audience and the opposing team by surprise. The two teams battled point for point until the Eagles were able to pull away with a score of 22-17. Rodgers served a perfectly-spotted short ball within the 10-foot line that Randolph-Macon struggled to return. The uncontrolled receive sent the ball a little too close to the net, which opened the door for Lyons to send it right into the floor, earning UMW point 23. Lyons brought an end to the second set with a score of 25-19.
UMW continued their trend of scoring first in the third set. Rodgers and Lyons once again stepped up and ended the game 25-17, allowing the Eagles to end the match in three sets.
“I’m very happy with the team’s performance,” said Rodgers, a business administration major, after the game. “We’ve had a rough couple days just figuring out the kinks of everything, but we pulled everything together and I think it looked very good.”
Last year, the team finished with an overall record of 19-12. With the additions of freshmen Maura Munson, Lilly Hussman, Avery Gallahue, Makayla Bowman and Dani Molina Otero, the team is looking to improve every game.
“Definitely a good first match win,” said Coach Alex Hinsey. “Definitely saw a lot we could work on too but saw a lot of positives from tonight as well. We just want to get better every time we step on the court and we want to be the best volleyball team we can be every night.”