Volleyball pounds Gardner-Webb, then falls to Asheville

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Radford Volleyball scored a rare victory over a Big South opponent in a straight-set victory over Gardner-Webb.

Peter Mason
pdmason@radford.edu

Radford Volleyball dominated the Gardner-Webb University Runnin’ Bulldogs on Sept. 30 in three straight sets, then on Oct. 1, fell 3-1 to UNC Asheville. Gardner-Webb was never really able to keep up with the Highlanders, who outscored their opponent heavily (25-19, 25-16, 25-12). Sophomore outside hitter Emily Carlin led the team in kills with 11, Freshman outside hitter Rachel Wiechecki had seven, and freshman middle blocker Emma Deininger had six.
In both games two and three against the Runnin’ Bulldogs, RU jumped out to commanding leads. Once falling into a 10-point deficit, Gardner-Webb was never fully able to recover and gave up the matches to fall 3-0. They currently hold a record of 4-13 (0-3). The Highs in game two jumped out to a 7-0 lead to start the match, and in game three they managed to race ahead to a 9-2 advantage.
Gardner-Webb, as a team, tallied a total of 22 kills for the team, and 25 errors. Sophomore middle blocker Tyler Cockrell led the Runnin’ Bulldogs in kills with seven. The victory for RU however was short lived, as they fell in a tough match against UNC Asheville the very next day by a score of 3-1 after they won the first game in a 26-24 nailbiting set.
The Highlanders, who currently hold a record of 6-10 (1-2), fell short to the Bulldogs after a hard fought first game (26-24, 16-25, 15-25, 18-25). Asheville started out in the first game with an 18-14 team before the Highlanders rallied to win it 26-24 to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

In game four, RU fell again to a 7-2 deficit and Asheville was able to control the match to eventually take the series. The Highlanders were never quite able to find a way around the Bulldogs’ ability to control the ball. Their spike was a very effective weapon in their arsenal as well. Asheville however in the next two matches jumped out to lead by six points in the next two matches, and Radford wasn’t able to keep up after that. Asheville’s sophomore right side hitter Anna Moore led the team in kills with 14 total for the Bulldogs. Deininger led the Highlanders with 11 kills and junior opposite side hitter Emily Hayes had nine.
The Highlanders, as a team, tallied a total of 45 kills and 29 errors, while the Bulldogs tallied a total of 55 kills with only 20 errors.
“We probably came out a little slower today than we did last night,” said Hayes.
Hayes had nine kills against Asheville.
“I think we’re all just going to go at it on Monday,” said Deininger, “and work really hard to get out of the mindset that we had today. So that game is done and we’re just going to work hard and try to get the win.”
RU will play their next game against Campbell University on Oct. 7 in a night contest at scheduled to start at 7 p.m.