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The Radford Women’s Volleyball team had no small task at hand heading into the weekend on the road against Big South Conference rivals beginning on Friday, Sept. 28. The Highlanders got off to a great start as they crushed their first opponent, the UNC Asheville Bulldogs in three sets. The second game against Gardner Webb was less successful as they lost in four.
RU took care of the Bulldogs in straight sets winning with scores of 25-21, 25-14, and 25-21. The Highs lacked no power on the offensive side of the game recording a season-high 35.6 hitting percentage.
Junior outside hitter Emily Carlin and senior outside hitter Yacine Meyer played a large role in that stat recording an impressive 12 kills each. Senior outside hitter Emily Hayes also played well on the offensive side by crushing eight kills of her own.
Meyer recorded her third double-double by grabbing 10 or more kills and digs in the same game. Radford had a total of 45 kills on the day compared to UNC’s 35 in the match.
Sophomore setter Jena Braden had a team high 22 assists in the game but was followed closely by sophomore setter Christine Beckham’s 17. Senior libero Katelyn Meeks led the team with digs, totaling 16 on the day. With the loss to RU, the Bulldogs fell to 4-14 on the year and still remain winless in the conference with a 0-2 record.
Radford hoped to stay on a hot streak and gain another conference win at Gardner-Webb on Saturday, Sept. 29 but the Runnin’ Bulldogs would not be deterred so easily.
GWU made quick work of the Highlanders as they won in four games, 25-22, 26-24, 18-25, and 25-17.
Starting off the first set, the Highs got out to a fast start with a 9-3 lead. With as much as an eight point deficit, GWU was able to rally back to tie the game. Tied at 22, GWU took the set, when they finished off with three more points.
RU also took a fast lead in the second set and held throughout until GWU used a 20-19 lead, and a 4-1 run to close out the second set 26-24.
Although the Highs clinched the third set with a 25-18 win, GWU changed the trend of the match, starting off the fourth set on top. The Bulldogs claimed the fourth set with a score of 25-17 and the match.
Even with the loss, Carlin played well on the offensive side recording a season high 13 kills and 16 digs for her third double-double of the season. The veteran senior Meeks contributed 24 digs. As a match high with those digs, Meeks moves into second place on the all-time digs list at RU.
Beckham and Braden combined for 43 assists in the match. Radford had 50 kills in the match while Gardner-Webb had only 49 on the day. RU also had 72 digs in the match while GWU also had 72.
With the win, Gardner-Webb improved to 7-13 on the year and 2-1 in the conference while the Highlanders’ record after the weekend finished off at 10-9 and 1-2 in the Big South Conference.
When the Highs return to the court again, they will be at home for the Athletics Hall of Fame weekend beginning on Thursday, Oct. 4 as they host High Point University and Campbell University. The games are scheduled for Friday, Oct. 5 at 7 pm and Saturday, Oct. 6 at 4 pm.