ASHLAND, Va. - The Bridgewater College volleyball team pushed the defending ODAC champions to five sets but could not pull out the win as the Yellow Jackets took the match 20-25, 25-19, 24-26, 25-22, 15-10. Seniors Deja Booker and Victoria Wilson both set new career highs in the contest.
The teams began the match by trading points back and forth. The set was even 19-19 when four different Eagles put down kills to give them a 25-20 set win and a one set advantage. Bridgewater also hit its best percentage of the night in set one, recording a .300.
Randolph-Macon sat in the driver's seat during set two to even the match at one set each.
The third set was the closest of the evening as the Eagles eventually found themselves on top 26-24 after a Emily Hanger kill and a Randolph-Macon attack error.
The Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 10-5 lead in set four before the Eagles made a comeback to take the lead 13-12 behind strong serving from Madison Haynes, as well as kills from Rachel Gaston, Victoria Wilson, and Haynes. The teams traded points until the score was 22-22. Randolph-Macon would score three consecutive kills to push a fifth and deciding set. This would be the Eagles fifth five set match of the season.
Bridgewater was never able to catch up to the Yellow Jackets in the fifth as they would take the set 15-10 and the match. As the set scores show, the match was a hard fought battle on both sides that came down to the final points.
Gaston put down a match high 22 kills while contrbuting 19 digs. Right side hitter Booker had a big night for the Eagles as well, slamming down a career high 18 kills. Libero Taylor McNeely was all over the court, picking up 29 digs for the Eagles. Wilson was the second Bridgewater player to set a new career high with 51 assists in the loss.
Bridgewater is now 18-5 on the season and 6-2 in the ODAC. The return to the court on Saturday, October 20, when they make the short trip to Eastern Mennonite University for an ODAC Quad-Match. They will face Randolph at 11 a.m. followed by Guilford at 2 p.m.