Wednesday, February 20, 2019

HONORS: Anthony Named Player Of The Year, Yellow Jackets Win Big In ODAC Awards

Sophomore point guard Buzz Anthony has been named the 2018-19 Kurt Axe Player Of The Year for the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC), announced by the conference on Wednesday.

It was not the only major award earned by the Yellow Jackets in advance of the ODAC Championship, which starts quarterfinal play on Thursday. Senior forward Jon Nowell was named the ODAC/Farm Bureau Scholar-Athlete Of The Year, while head coach Josh Merkel received the Bob Johnson Coach Of The Year honor.

Anthony, from Arnold, Maryland, was named First Team All-ODAC, while senior Grayson Midulla, a graduate of Glen Allen High School, earned Second Team All-ODAC honors.


Anthony becomes the seventh Randolph-Macon player to win ODAC Player Of The Year, and the first since Justin Short ten years ago. The award is named after Kurt Axe, who won the award as a Yellow Jacket in 1996. Axe tragically died in an automobile accident later that summer.

Nowell becomes the first Randolph-Macon player to earn Scholar-Athlete Of The Year honors, sporting a 3.92 grade point average. Nowell majors in business with a concentration in management.


Merkel wins Coach Of The Year for the second year in a row, leading the Yellow Jackets to a 15-1 conference record, 23-2 overall, and the #1 ranking in the NCAA South Region. Randolph-Macon is the #1 seed in the ODAC Championship, and begins play Thursday at 1pm in Salem against #9 Randolph.

Other Yellow Jacket coaches to win the honor are current Bucknell head coach Nathan Davis (2014, 2015), current VCU head coach Mike Rhoades (2001, 2002, 2003) and Hal Nunnally (1990, 1993, 1997).


Midulla ranks second on the team with 298 points this season, averaging 11.9 points per game, also second in assists (66) and steals (31).



HONORS: Woods, Ross Earn All-ODAC Women's Basketball Honors

Congratulations to Randolph-Macon juniors Charlotte Woods and Michal Ross, both named Second Team All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) by the league office Wednesday.

Ross, from Glen Allen High School, played in 21 games, coming off the bench in each one to average 15.3 points per game, #5 in the ODAC, while contributing 5.4 rebounds and 2.2 steals per contest.

Woods, named an All-ODAC member for the second time, averaged 10.9 points per game, and led the conference in offensive rebounds at 4.3 per game.

Ross and Woods help lead Randolph-Macon, the #4 seed, into an ODAC Championship Quarterfinal against #5 Virginia Wesleyan on Friday at 3pm at the Salem Civic Center. (File Photos)


BASKETBALL SCHEDULE CHANGES

With schools closed Wednesday, the following games have been postponed and rescheduled in the Region 4B Championship:

GIRLS:

Quarterfinals:

#9 Huguenot at #1 Patrick Henry, Thursday, 6:30pm
#7 Hanover at #2 King George, TBA

BOYS:

Quarterfinals:

#6 Hanover at #3 Dinwiddie, Thursday, 6pm

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Randolph-Macon ODAC Championship Opponents Set

For Randolph-Macon's women's basketball, they have known that round three with Virginia Wesleyan has been on the horizon since shortly after their Senior Day loss to Guilford back on Saturday.

The Yellow Jackets, the #4 seed in the ODAC Championship that officially begins Tuesday night with two first round games, will square off against the Marlins at 3pm Friday in Salem, Virginia. Virginia Wesleyan took the first encounter 79-77 in overtime in January, while, one week ago, the Yellow Jackets exacted revenge with a comeback 68-62 win.

The winner would get top seed Guilford in the semifinals, should the Quakers get by their quarterfinal opponent, which will be determined tonight as Bridgewater makes the short trip to Shenandoah for the #8/#9 first round matchup.

Charlotte Woods and Michal Ross, Randolph-Macon's two leading scorers, did not play in Saturday's Guilford loss. Woods is expected to be ready for Friday's quarterfinal, and the team is hopeful Ross will be as well, but aren't as sure at this point.


Meanwhile, the Yellow Jacket men roll into ODAC Championship play, finishing 15-1 in the conference, 23-2 overall, owning a pair of ten-game winning streaks for the first time in 15 years.

Head Coach Josh Merkel and his staff now guard against the quarterfinal letdown which has beset Randolph-Macon each of the past two seasons. By virtue of their 88-80 win on Monday night, Randolph College, the #9 seed, will be the Yellow Jackets' first opponent in Salem at 1pm on Thursday.

With the Yellow Jackets #1 in the NCAA South Region rankings, wins Thursday and in Saturday's semifinal, we believe, should be enough to land Randolph-Macon an NCAA Tournament bid regardless of Sunday's results. An ODAC Championship, however, would seem to guarantee the Yellow Jackets would stay home and host a first/second round pod on March 1st and 2nd.

The last time the NCAA Division III Men's Tournament came to Ashland was the Rounds of 16 and 8 in 2015, when Randolph-Macon won 25 games in a row, the ODAC title, and fell by two points in a heartbreaker to rival Virginia Wesleyan, sending the Marlins to the Division III Final Four.



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OPINION:

1) The women's tournament field is wide open. There is no dominate team, and any of the top six seeds have the talent to get on a three-day run, shoot the ball well, and cut the nets in Salem. The Yellow Jackets can repeat, but they must find outside shooting and absolutely have to be sterling at the free throw line.

2) The men control their own destiny. The key is to play their game and constantly look forward. The bigs, from Jon Nowell (pictured above) to David Funderburg, and especially senior Darryl Williams, need to be ready to produce in the paint should there come a game where the recent torrid three-point shooting of the Yellow Jackets disappears. They'll have to win different ways in order to take three in Salem and bring home the title trophy.

NOTE: @hanoversports on Twitter will provide real-time updates of the Yellow Jackets in action in Salem beginning Thursday with the men's quarterfinal.

Monday, February 18, 2019

IN THE RED ZONE MONDAY:

We are live at 6pm at SportsPage Grille in Ashland on 102.9 FM The Mater will special guests:

Randolph-Macon Women's Golf Head Coach Jill Briles-Hinton

Patrick Henry Softball Head Coach Lance LeStourgeon

Plus, the latest on the high school basketball tournaments, the ODAC Basketball Championships and more!

CLICK HERE to listen live online or use the @tunein Radio App and go to "Radiall"!




Saturday, February 16, 2019

Randolph-Macon Saturday

Even with baseball rain/snowed out this weekend, there's a ton of important action on campus and away from the friendly confines!

SATURDAY:

Men's Volleyball, winners of their first-ever home match Friday night, play twice at 10am and 2pm

Men's Lacrosse hosts Catholic at 12pm for their home opener

SENIOR DAY for Women's Basketball, celebrating Jayla Wade and Kelsey Wisner at 2pm against Guilford


Plus, the #5 ranked Men's Basketball team plays at Eastern Mennonite at 4:30pm looking to finish the regular season at 23-2. They have already clinched the number one seed in next week's ODAC Championship.


MONDAY NIGHT:

Meet Women's Golf head coach Jill Briles-Hinton live at SportsPage Grille Ashland as she goes "In The Red Zone" with host Rob Witham live at 6pm on 102.9 The Mater (102.9 FM, 1430 AM).

Also listen live online Monday by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

BASKETBALL: PH Girls Top Seed, Five County Teams In Playoffs

In Region 4B, the Patrick Henry girls earn the top seed and home court advantage throughout the Championship Tournament, which begins on Friday. The Patriot boys will be at Powhatan on Friday for an opening round game.

The Hanover girls and boys both will host a first round game on Monday, as the girls are the #7 seed and face #10 Caroline at 6pm. The boys' seeding and opponent for Monday is to be determined.

By virture of their eight-game winning streak to end the regular season, Atlee surges into the Region 5B boys playoffs, knocking out rival Lee-Davis, who finished ninth in the standings. The Raiders begin quarterfinal play at L.C. Bird Friday. The Atlee girls, despite a 14-8 record, did not make the postseason, outpointed in the ratings system by 11-10 Meadowbrook.

CLICK HERE for all the brackets, schedules, scores, ticket information and more at "Region Tournament Central" at our main network website!




Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Arrington Sparks Yellow Jackets To Key Comeback Win

Down seven after a quarter, and by as many as twelve in the second period, Randolph-Macon women's basketball looked for a spark, and a way to slow down the Jayla Harris express of Virginia Wesleyan.

Slowly, quietly, the Yellow Jackets shaved into the Marlins lead, finding themselves down just three at halftime before taking a third period lead, then holding on for a 68-62 victory Tuesday night at Crenshaw Gymnasium to win their fifth straight Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) game, improving to 12-5 in conference play, 17-7 overall.

Becca Arrington began her best game of the season quietly, coming off the bench, but making the conscious decision to create offense, heading straight to the rim, drawing fouls, and making all six of her first half free throws. Add in a three-pointer with 21 seconds left in the half, and Randolph-Macon was only behind by one after having trailed 25-13 just nine minutes earlier.

"Just take advantage of every opportunity I've been given," Arrington said courtside following the win about her work, especially offensively, in the critical second period. "It's always nice to get to the free throw line, then see the ball go in the net. That always helps mentally, with confidence."

Jayla Harris, who led all scorers with 26 points for the Marlins (10-7 ODAC, 13-11), fittingly ended the first half with a jumper to extend the Virginia Wesleyan lead back to three at 35-32. But somehow, despite Harris' play, the Yellow Jackets had scratched and clawed their way back into contention.

The second half began as more of the same, the Yellow Jackets keeping the Marlins in their sights despite being behind. Head Coach Carroll LaHaye credited the defensive play of Jayla Wade for working, possession after possession, on Harris, trying to crack her, to wear her down.

"Our Jayla put enough pressure on her (Harris) throughout the game. (Harris) can singlehandedly control the game by herself," LaHaye noted. "By the time we got to the end when her team needed her, she didn't have it."

Harris put an end to a Randolph-Macon 17-3 run over the final 5:15 of the third period with a three-pointer at the top of the key to get Virginia Wesleyan back within five at 59-54 going to the fourth period. That run was sparked by a Charlotte Woods, a Michal Ross steal, and two free throws from senior Kelsey Wisner. Arrington nailed a triple with 4:09 left to give the Yellow Jackets their first lead since 7-5 early in the first period.

In the fourth, the Yellow Jackets went cold. Randolph-Macon missed their first nine shots. The Marlins, however, couldn't capitalize, as the Yellow Jackets relied on defensive prowess and, when Ross scored with 3:19 to go to finally get Randolph-Macon back on the scoreboard, it was to retake the lead at 61-59.

The teams traded misses, then the Yellow Jackets clinched the win at the free throw line. After struggling there early in the period, Elise Knobloch made one of two with just under a minute to play, then, after a Woods steal off Harris with 32 seconds left, Ross was fouled, made two free throws, then forced yet another steal, finding Woods at the rim for the hoop to seal the key conference victory.

For a team that lost four straight conference games at one point after the loss of All-American Kelly Williams to injury for the season, they've started to find their second identity of the season, and at just the right time. With the victory, Randolph-Macon goes up a half-game on Lynchburg and Washington and Lee, who both play Wednesday night. All three entered the final week of the season tied for third in the ODAC.

After losing to Bridgewater at home three weeks ago, LaHaye met with her team at practice and challenged them.

"It really boiled down to, who we are, what do we want to be, and are we going to be able do it?," LaHaye recalled telling her team. "Some people have kicked us out, written us off. Throughout the time we've been without Kelly, we've given hope to those teams, and hope wins. I said, hope wins all aspects of your life, and there's hope for us! Why don't we grab onto that?"

Tuesday was another example of Randolph-Macon grinding its way, finding its way, to grab another piece of hope with Senior Day coming Saturday against ODAC regular season champion Guilford, then the trip to Salem and the ODAC Championship Quarterfinals on Friday, February 22.

NOTES: Charlotte Woods registered her sixth double-double of 2018-19 with 13 points, 14 rebounds, and, most impressively, eight steals in the victory. Ross finished with eleven points on the night. After shooting 70 percent in the first quarter from the field, and 57.1 percent in the third, the Marlins went just 3 of 15 from the floor in the final period. Randolph-Macon ended the night 19 of 25 at the free throw line. Saturday's game with Guilford tips at 2pm. Live Twitter coverage available on @hanoversports.






Monday, February 11, 2019

In The Red Zone Tonight!

Listen live at 6pm as we're live at Sports Page Grille Ashland on 102.9 FM The Mater, 1430 AM, and CLICK HERE to listen online!

Our guests:

New Hanover Hawks Baseball Head Coach Tyler Kane

Randolph-Macon Women's Lacrosse Head Coach MK Geratowski




Big Weekend At Randolph-Macon

In case you missed it, this past weekend was incredibly successful for Randolph-Macon College athletics, and it all happened on the road.

We begin with men's basketball, who repeated as Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) regular season champions thanks to an 87-45 victory at Randolph on Saturday evening. As has been the case recently, a senior led the way at a critical time, as Darryl Williams sparked a 17-0 early second half run with ten of those points to help the Yellow Jackets move to 14-1 in ODAC play, 22-2 overall.

After starting the season 10-0, Randolph-Macon has now put together a nine-game winning streak and can match ten in a row with a victory Saturday in their regular season finale at Eastern Mennonite.

Buzz Anthony, who should get major ODAC Player Of The Year consideration, led the way Saturday with 21 points, while senior Grayson Midulla (pictured) sizzled with eleven points and ten big assists.


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Meanwhile, the women's basketball team erased the damage of a four-game ODAC losing streak by winning their fourth straight conference game, 61-52 at Roanoke Saturday thanks to a big finish on defense, holding the Maroons to just eight points in the fourth period. The win also clinched a bye in the ODAC Championship which begins next week.

Randolph-Macon (11-5 ODAC, 16-7) forced 21 Roanoke turnovers and got 27 points from the bench in the win. Michal Ross continued her strong play with 17 points in 28 minutes, while Kelsey Wisner scored eleven and Charlotte Ross, despite foul issues, had nine points and eight rebounds.

The victory keeps Randolph-Macon in a three-way tie for third place in the ODAC with Washington and Lee and Lynchburg. Guilford has clinched the regular season crown at 15-2, while Emory and Henry is second at 13-3. The Yellow Jackets host Shenandoah Tuesday, then host Guilford for Senior Day on Saturday.

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Men's lacrosse opened the 2019 season on a high note, winning 11-4 at Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina Saturday afternoon. Hanover High School grad Colin DiSesa, a junior, led the Yellow Jackets with three goals and an assist, while eight other players each scored a goal in the victory. Randolph-Macon holds their home opener Saturday hosting Catholic at 12pm.

Critical to their success Saturday was domination in face-offs, winning 13 of 18 in the contest.

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Men's volleyball registered their first-ever Centennial Volleyball Conference victory on Friday night, sweeping Neumann 3-0, then heading to Cairn Saturday for a four-set victory to make it a 2-0 start in CVC play.

Local players shined as Lee Olenyik (Hanover) led the Yellow Jackets in kills in both matches with 17 on Friday and 16 on Saturday, while Connor Logan (Patrick Henry) led in digs with 12 and 19 recorded in the two wins respectively.

The first home match in program history is set for this Friday night at 7:30, hosting Immaculata. Saturday, the Yellow Jackets host Ramapo at 10am, then Bluefield College at 2pm. The matches with Immaculata and Ramapo are both CVC matches.

(File Photos)