By Tyler Hofmann-Reardon
This past Saturday, in front of a roaring crowd in Bast Gym, the Women’s Volleyball team faced off against ODAC rival, Lynchburg, in what would be a nail-biter of a match. The Maroons entered the contest with a record 12-3, 0-1 in ODAC play, and the Lynchburg Hornets entered at 7-7, and 1-1 in ODAC play. With each team looking to gain leverage in ODAC play, the Maroons and the Hornets brought early intensity to the game.
Lynchburg started the action by recording three straight points on three powerful spikes. Alexandra Martin and Sarah Long then recorded a momentum swinging block that gave the Maroons their first point of the set. After Lynchburg’s 3-0 run, both teams began a back and forth affair, with neither team able to secure a lead for long. Allison White (18) played a phenomenal first set for the Maroons, leading the team with five kills, and Alexandra Martin (11) and Jessica Block (3) played pivotal roles, assisting their teammates on six and four kills respectively. Due to the Maroons’ excellent play, and a game winning kill by Allison White, Roanoke took the first set 25-23 over Lynchburg.
The two teams traded the next two sets, with Lynchburg winning the second set 25-23 and Roanoke winning the third with a dominating performance and a 25-16 victory. With Roanoke leading two sets to one, both teams entered the fourth set, the Hornets trying to stay alive, and the Maroons looking to put their opponent away.
The fourth set was a game of runs, with Lynchburg coming out of the gate hot and scoring four unanswered points. Then, with the Hornets leading eight points to four, Macey Tyree (6), assisted by Jessica Block, recorded a crucial kill to kickstart the Maroons subsequent 9-1 run. However, Roanoke’s success was short lived, and Lynchburg resumed the attack and soon after launched a 6-0 run to put the Hornets back on top with a score of 19-16. Roanoke then pushed back with a quick 3-0 run to tie the game, but it was followed by a Lynchburg 4-1 run that gave the Hornets a commanding 24-20 lead. The Maroons fought back with two quick points, but in the end Lynchburg took the set 25-22 and forced the contest into a final, tie-breaker, set to 15 points.
The Maroons wasted no time getting things going in the final set, and quickly jumped ahead to a commanding 9-2 lead behind a Jessica Block serving ace and a multitude of Lynchburg errors. Unfortunately, Roanoke could not muster the remaining six points needed to win both the set and the match, so Lynchburg took the final set by a score of 15-13, earning them a victory in five sets.
Although the Maroons played well, they found themselves on the wrong end of a few plays and made a few mistakes along the way that cost them the game against one of the ODAC’s toughest competitors. The Maroons moved to 12-4 overall and 0-2 in ODAC play after this heartbreaking loss. However, the Maroons will look to quickly rebound in their next home game against Shenandoah University, hopefully in front of another packed house.