College Volleyball Final – Virginia Wesleyan 3, Guilford 1

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Laura Topper had a match-high 11 kills and three blocks in Virginia Wesleyan University’s 3-1 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) volleyball win over visiting Guilford College Saturday. The Marlins pulled out the match, 25-15, 25-19, 22-25, 25-23, to improve to 16-8 (8-2 ODAC) on the season. Guilford falls to 11-9 (4-5 ODAC) with its third straight setback.

Virginia Wesleyan outscored the Quakers, 15-6, to close out the opening set, but Guilford bounced back in the second set. The Marlins used five straight Guilford errors to open a 10-4 lead in set two, but the Quakers rallied. A 5-0 Guilford spurt capped by one of Christian Ritter’s team-high nine kills drew the visitors to within 18-17, but the Marlins answered with a 7-2 spurt to take a 2-0 lead.

The Quakers used a 6-0 run that featured five Marlins’ hitting errors to overcome a 16-10 deficit in the third set. The teams traded points down the stretch before kills by Ritter and Khaira Bolden sandwiched around a Virginia Wesleyan attack error broke a 22-22 tie and sent Guilford to victory.

Guilford fell behind 18-13 in the fourth set before reeling off five straight points to knot the match at 18-18. As in prior sets, the teams traded points down the stretch. A Casey Davis kill pulled Guilford to within 24-23 before Elizabeth Britton’s eighth putaway clinched the Marlins’ victory.

Virginia Wesleyan’s Topper and Britton (8 kills, 4 service aces) both accounted for a match-high 13 points. Emilee Pierson had 20 assists, plus 11 digs, and teammate Meghan Wood set up 14 kills and picked up 12 digs. Maddie Starr’s 20 pickups led all students.

Ritter’s nine kills paced Guilford’s offense and she added 18 digs. Bolden, a freshman, had a match-best seven kills to accompany a career-high eight putaways in the most extensive action of her young career. Classmate Carson Evans also saw her most meaningful minutes at setter and responded with 17 assists, one better than teammate Kylee Crook. Davis added eight kills, three blocks, and 18 digs. Sophomore Morgan Tompkins finished with seven kills, two service aces, and a club-best 19 digs.

Coach Emily Gann’s Quakers visit league-rival Emory & Henry College Wednesday (10/25).