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The Radford University volleyball team finished up their home season with two close wins at Dedmon on Nov. 4-5. The first win came against Big South foe High Point University on Nov. 4.
The Panthers had control of the first game 10-5 until RU went on a six point scoring run giving the Highs’ a 12-10 advantage. High Point then responded by going on a five-point run. The game stayed close but when the score was 21-23, the Panthers were on a roll and carried the momentum.
But behind three straight kills from freshman middle blocker Emma Deininger, the Highlanders scored four straight points to gain the come from behind victory.
In the second game, RU got out to a good start and had a 12-5 lead before High Point made a 10 point run giving them the 15 to 13 lead. But the Highlanders battled back and kept the score close. With the score at 24-23, advantage RU, freshman outside hitter Rachel Wiechecki connected with the ball and slammed it for a kill to end the game.
The third game stayed close the whole time until the end when RU overpowered the Panthers. High Point had a 19 to 21 lead before the Highs’ gained momentum and scored six straight points to give them the game and sweep over High Point.
With the win, the Highlanders moved to 12-14 overall and 6-5 in the Big South while High Point fell to 4-7 in the conference.
Wiechecki came up big for the Highs scoring the three final points in the first game and then five in the third, all coming off of her serve. All together, the Highlanders scored 21 total points off of her serve.
RU then faced the Campbell Fighting Camels for the last game of the season at Dedmon on Nov. 5. It was Senior Night, so emotions were running high as the game began after the senior ceremonies. The Highlanders crushed the Camels in the first two games 25-15 and 25-16 and the sweep seemed inevitable as the Highs took the floor for the third game.
But RU looked like a completely different team, letting balls drop in front of them and hitting everything into the net causing them to eventually drop game three 10-25.
“They just came out with more intensity than we did and we were just too relaxed,” senior outside hitter Megan McWhorter said about losing the third game.
The woes continued for the Highs in the fourth game dropping that game 22-25. But coming in to the fifth set, the Highlanders knew they had to play well. RU came through and jumped out to a 5-1 lead and didn’t look back from there, winning the fifth game 15-10. Senior setter Leigh Myers said, “When we get to the fourth set we have this sense of urgency and we just think that we are not going to go down without a fight.”
With the win, Radford is now 13-14 overall and 7-5 in the league with two road games ahead. Campbell drops to 12-16 and 5-7 in the conference.
“It was good to get this win for moral reasons and just for pride,” McWhorter said. McWhorter was playing her first game back since a leg injury that has sidelined her since September, and recorded the first kill of the night for RU. The Highlanders will return to action on Nov. 11 at UNC Asheville in a contest scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
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