ASHLAND, Va. – For the first time in program history, the Virginia Wesleyan University volleyball team was crowned champions of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) as the team defeated top-seeded Randolph-Macon, 3-1 (25-17, 15-25, 25-17, 29-27), on the road Saturday evening. With the victory, the Marlins move to 28-7 on the season and earn the conference's automatic bid to the 2019 NCAA Championship. Their opponent for the NCAA Championship will be announced at 12:30 p.m. on Monday.
The entire match was a battle with neither team able to create much of a distance. Virginia Wesleyan took an early 10-4 lead in set one thanks to a service streak by Elizabeth Britton and was able to maintain that lead throughout the set to put them up 1-0. After a second set where the offense sputtered, the Marlins were back on the horse, hitting a match-high .344 as a team. Amber Matalus earned three of the last five points on kills to secure the victory and regain the set lead.
Set four was tight throughout as the teams found themselves tied on six occasions. The Marlins strung together a few points near the end, earning a pair of match-point opportunities but Randolph-Macon battled to keep their hopes alive. The Marlins continued to go up one but couldn't put two points together until Britton followed a Kathryn Yeager kill to seal the match.
Matalus had a terrific game in the middle, tagging Macon for a career-high 18 kills. She was aided by Britton who finished with 11 and Yeager with eight. Helping the offense were Haley Sutton and Meghan Wood who each racked up 24 assists on the day.
Defensively, Alyssa Taylor was all over the court as she collected a team-high 24 digs. Following close behind was Britton who ended with 22.
At the Tournament's conclusion, Matalus, Britton and Taylor were all selected to the All-Tournament team.