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SU roundup: Yellow Jackets upset Hornets in ODAC semis


Daily Staff Reports - sports@nvdaily.com

WINCHESTER -- Third-seeded Randolph-Macon earned the first bid into the 2013 Old Dominion Athletic Conference Field Hockey Tournament championship with a 3-2 overtime upset victory over No. 2 Shenandoah on Wednesday afternoon.

Olivia Newman rifled a shot from the top of the circle just inside the right post to give Macon (12-9) the victory over Shenandoah (10-10).

The sudden-victory goal puts the Yellow Jackets into Saturday's championship against the winner of No. 1 Lynchburg vs No. 4 Bridgewater.

SU, which downed the 'Jackets 4-1 one week ago on the same Sprint Field at Shentel Stadium turf, was seeking its first conference championship game appearance.

The Hornets appeared to be in excellent position to make that showing as coach Ashley Smeltzer's club took the first possession of the overtime advanced the ball all the way to the R-MC goalmouth, where Macon was successfully able to clear the ball off the line before Shenandoah could tap home the game-winner.

SU then had one penalty corner and an additional shot wide as the possession stayed in the Yellow Jackets end, but could not come up with another shot on goal.

Macon had two shots on goal, including one that forced Hornets keeper Sarah Clare to come up with a point-blank save, before forcing the penalty corner that led to the game-winning goal.

Newman ripped a shot that skipped twice before finding the spot between Clare's outstretched leg and the right post.

The goal ended a contest in which the two teams split 42 shots and saw Shenandoah win 18 of 28 corners.

Randolph-Macon scored the initial goal of the game in the 20th minute when Rachael Gardner fed Catherine Pricone right on the doorstep.

That lead lasted but 52 seconds as SU sophomore Presha Merritt set up Cross with the tying goal.

R-MC retook the lead thanks to a rebound goal in the 29th minute and was able to take that one-goal lead into the half.

Cross again brought the game back to level by redirecting a Kelani Bailey shot in the 44th minute, setting up the overtime thriller.

Macon keeper Steph Talley had 12 saves, with Clare making 10.

Volleyball

LEXINGTON -- Top-seeded Washington & Lee eliminated No. 8 Shenandoah University from the ODAC Volleyball Tournament with a 3-0 quarterfinal-round victory Wednesday evening.

The Generals (26-6) won at 13, 20 and 22 to oust Shenandoah (14-17) from its second-ever ODAC Tournament appearance.

SU had its best chance to take a set in the second as it led 20-19 following a W&L ball handling error.

Unfortunately for the Hornets, Washington & Lee got a kill from reigning ODAC Player of the Year M.A. Boles to tie the set at 20-20 and then proceeded to score the remaining five points of the set.

The initial two points in this run came via service ace with the final three coming on kills.

The Generals seized control of the third with a 5-0 run in the middle of the set that turned an 11-10 deficit into a 15-11 lead.

SU stayed within three points the rest of the way, but could not extend the match.

Senior Haley Smith paced SU with seven kills, while freshman Rachel Roberts added five and both Rachel Gross and Allie Pieper three each.

Boles had a match-high 17 for W&L.

Katy Griffith, Smith's classmate and co-captain, paced the Hornets' defense with a match-high 10 digs.



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