Volleyball heads to Elite 8

The Yellow Jacket Volleyball Team’s season was pre-destined to skewer and rise to contending challengers from the very beginning. The team hit the ground running starting September 1 and their efforts have led them to a 28-7 overall record and a perfect winning record in the conference. They now will continue to test and push the competition as they compete in the national NCAA Division III Volleyball Tournament.

The R-MC Volleyball Team wasted not a single moment in cementing their game this season. With years of experience behind them, the senior players have shown both the conference and various teams around the East coast that playing against R-MC is not a joke. The Jackets were ranked 2nd in the pre-season ranking, but from their very first in-conference match against N.C. Wesleyan College, they have had a strong case for the 1st place ranking. The team won all of its matches and when faced against Virginia Wesleyan, the highest ranked in-conference opponent.

After a superb season, the Yellow Jackets continued to cement their winning record against the conference in the ODAC tournament. The team played against Lynchburg College in the first round. Lynchburg College, which was ranked 3rd in the beginning of the year, was swept by the lady Jackets in 3 sets.

The same occurred for the semi-final match against Roanoke, where a 3-0 sweep greeted the ladies to the ODAC championship match against Virginia Wesleyan.

Winning the ODAC tournament has since earned the team a spot in the NCAA D3 Volleyball Tournament. Coming into the tournament ranked 4th in the South and 28th overall in the coaches’ survey, the Jackets have overall been underestimated by the D3 league. With much to prove in the tournament, the Jackets began the tournament with the same approach they had during the season.

In the first round, the Jackets faced Stevenson University and won the game after defeating Virginia Wesleyan College by 2 sets with a 3-1 final score. The Jackets then faced Christopher Newport University, which was ranked 5th going into the tournament. The Jackets faced a strong team while playing CNU, losing the first set 21-25, but winning the next two 25-18 and 25-22, respectively. CNU, however, won the 4th set and forced a 5th set, which R-MC won 15-13. In the final regional match, the team faced Stockton University, the host of the regional bracket. R-MC won all 3 sets against Stockton, allowing them to capture the regional trophy and advance to the semi-final rounds at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

-Bar Hass ’16, Senior Sports Editor

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