VIRGINIA BEACH -- On a roll.
That's the easiest way to describe the current progress of the Virginia Wesleyan College volleyball team which made short work of Shenandoah University's Hornets Tuesday in an Old Dominion Athletic Conference match.
The Marlins won 3-0, pinning 25-15, 25-19, and 25-10 losses on the Hornets before a large crowd at the Jane P. Batten Student Center. The victory extended VWC's current winning streak to eight consecutive matches and marked the Marlins' sixth 3-0 victory in the last eight outings, and seventh overall. VWC is now 11-2 overall and 4-0 in the league
VWC started strong, never trailing in the first game. Shenandoah (7-3, 1-2 ODAC) stayed within four points most of the match, before the Marlins put together a 6-0 run to push out to a 21-12 lead. Tempe Martens (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) contributed with a kill, Mallory Slade (Burlington, N.C./Eastern Almanance), and Kala Guy (Fishersville/Wilson Memorial) and Torey Garin (Virginia Beach/Floyd E. Kellam) combined for a block. VWC's largest lead was 24-14.
Shenandoah came back stronger in the second game, despite falling behind 5-1. Allie Pieper (Stephens City/Shenandoah Valley Christian), Haley Smith (Winchester/James Wood), Samantha Schambach (Manassas/Osbourn Park), and Megan Gillispie (Westminster, Md./Francis Scott Key) helped spark a Hornet charge that push the team from Winchester into a 10-8 lead.
But, VWC regrouped quickly and out-scored SU 6-2, forcing a Hornet time out. When play resumed the Marlins picked up where they left off, out-scoring Shenandoah 7-4, helped by key plays by Kerry Johnson (Richmond/J.R. Tucker) and Guy, to open up a 21-16 lead. Shenandoah closed within a 22-19 scored, but VWC came up with the final three points to close out the win.
After the teams played to a 3-3 tie in the third game, Virginia Wesleyan rode the play of Guy, Garin and Slade to open up a 9-4 lead. SU took a time out to try to stop the surge, but the Marlins returned to play to push out to a 16-9 lead, helped by Taylor Allen (Bowie, Md./Bladensburg Elizabeth Seton). VWC dominated the rest of the way, posting a 9-1 scoring run to end the game and the match.
Guy led all players with 15 kills, followed by Allen with eight. Mikaela Whitaker (Gainesville/Haymarket Battlefield) finished with 12 digs. The Marlins put down 10 aces, led by Slade with four. She also had 28 assists.
Gillispie led Shenandoah with eight kills. Blake Parkes (Winchester/Millbrook) produced a team-high 12 digs.
Virginia Wesleyan plays again on Friday, Sept. 21, in a non-conference match at the University of Mary Washington beginning at 6 p.m. The Eagles are currently 5-2.