Marlins pin first ODAC loss on Lynchburg

VIRGINIA BEACH -- After a violent thunderstorm rolled through the Hampton Roads area on Wednesday, causing a brief power outage on the Virginia Wesleyan College campus, the lights came back on and Lynchburg College Hornets and the host VWC Marlins faced off in Old Dominion Athletic Conference volleyball competition.

After two tight games that favored the host team in the end, the Marlins stormed through the third game to pin the first league loss of the season on the Hornets.  VWC posted a 25-13 win in the third game to end the match after 25-22 and 25-23 wins in the first two games. The win was VWC's ninth consecutive regular-season win over Lynchburg in the series between the schools.

Lynchburg (10-3, 4-1) led 1-0 in the game, before Virginia Wesleyan (6-8, 3-2) reeled off six straight points, including two on Kala Guy (Fishersville, Va./Wilson Memorial) aces, to take control for good.  Lynchburg closed within a 6-2 score and no closer as VWC opened up a 14-5 lead, helped by the play of Mallory Slade (Burlington, N.C./Eastern Alamance), Tempe Martens (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park), and Alex Kirk (Concord, N.C./Jay M. Robinson). VWC led by 11 points several times down the stretch, the last at 24-13 after a Kirk kill.

The lop-sided win followed two barn-burners.  Led by Mallory Stewart (Collinsville, Va./Bassett), Aricquel Payne (Woodbridge, Va./Osbourn Park), Casey Parrish (Bohannon, Va./Mathews), and Molly Deacon (Roanoke, Va./Northside), the Hornets battled back from a 17-11 deficit to take a 20-19 lead.  The teams were tied at 21 before two Lynchburg errors gave VWC a 23-21 lead.  Guy came through with a pair of kills to give VWC the win.

Lynchburg recovered quickly in the second game, bounding out to a 6-0 lead, with five points on VWC errors. A kill by Kerry Johnson (Richmond, Va./J.R. Tucker) put the Marlins on track and VWC gradually came back with help from Taylor Allen (Bowie, Md./Bladensburg Elizabeth Seton), Cay Gee (Parkton, Md./Hereford), and Martens.  The score was tied at 20, 21, and 22, but Johnson put down a kill to give VWC the lead at 23-22.  A Payne kill kept the Hornets close at 24-23, before a serving error provided the winning point for the Marlins.

Guy led VWC with 14 kills, Slade provided 19 assists, and Erin Paton (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) added 10 digs. 

Lynchburg was led by Payne with seven kills and Rachel Huffman (Virginia Beach/Bayside) and Parrish with six each.  Rachel Turk (Salem, Va./Salem) recorded 26 assists and Deacon finished with seven digs.

VWC competes again on Saturday, Oct. 1, hosting league-leading Washington & Lee University (15-2, 5-0) at 11 a.m.  The Marlins also entertain the University of Mary Washington (12-2) at 3 p.m.