Volleyball hitting its late-season stride

Last Updated on

410 views

Dom Baya
dbaya@radford.edu

Radford University Women’s volleyball kicked off its Homecoming/Dig Pink contest with a pair of impressive victories over Charleston Southern University and Coastal Carolina University.
The Highs began the festivities with a dominating performance in a 3-0 shutout of CSU (25-19, 25-23, and 25-17) that saw two players reach double digits in kills, with freshman outside hitter Rachel Wiechecki recording 12, and freshman middle blocker Emma Deininger, recording 10.
An early run by the Highs had them winning five of the set’s first six points, and without slowing down they never trailed as they won the first set thanks to key blocks and kills late in the set.
After having an 11-4 advantage in the second set, the Highs quickly raced their way to a 25-23 victory despite the Buccaneers rally after the Highs’ game point at 24-18.
The two teams quickly traded points in a back and forth effort to start the third set, but the Highs pulled themselves away to a 13-7 lead after the set’s first timeout. After extending their lead to 17-9, they almost faced a setback as the Bucs closed the deficit to four at 20-16. The Bucs would not get any closer than that as the Highs closed out the finals set by claiming five of the last six points.
In addition to Wiechecki and Deininger’s performance, the Highs got 25 assists from senior setter Leigh Myers while racking up 15 digs from freshman libero Rachel Brummitt. As a libero, Brummitt’s main role is being a defensive specialist on the floor. As a group, the Highs had .215 of their attack attempts while limiting the Bucs to .143.
Their second match would not come as easy as the first, as the Highs almost dropped a 2-0 set lead but eventually hung on for a 3-2 win over the Chanticleers (25-16, 25-15, 20-25, 25-27, 15-12).
Senior middle blocker Carly Fleming led the Highs’ pace with 15 kills out of 25 attempts, while Deininger and Wiechecki added 14 each. Wiechecki recorded her second double-double of the weekend by adding 12 digs in the game against CSU.
With the score locked at seven in the first set, Radford begin the run with a 14-5 spurt that later ended with a 25-16 victory. In game two, a 7-0 run by the Highs had the opposing team call timeouts to help solve their problem, but that would not work out as the Highs extended their lead to eight. The Highs ended the set at 25-15 due to an ace by Myers.
Game three featured the Chanticleers opportunity to come back as they scored six straight points and extending the match to a 25-20 win.
Game four had the Highs trailing throughout most of the set before a small rally had them up 18-16. With 15 ties and six lead changes, the set was more competitive than the previous three. The set was dead even before the Chanticleers scored two straight times off errors made by the Highs to force a deciding final set.
Facing an 11-10 deficit, the Highs resisted their opponents pace as they outscored them 4-1 to claim the victory in the fifth set.
Myers and freshman setter Christine Beckham combined for a total of 45 assists (25 and 20 respectively) while Brummitt put up a game high 28 digs.
As a team, the Highlanders are 10-12 during the regular season are right in the middle of the Big South conference 4-3 in the Big South. With the two weekend victories, the Highs have won four out of their past six matches after starting the season 6-10.
The Highs enjoy a near week long break before traveling to a road match against Presbyterian College on Friday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. After the match with Presbyterian, the Highs will travel to Rock Hill, South Carolina to face off with the Winthrop Eagles in a Big South conference matchup at 4 p.m. on Oct. 22.