ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Rachel Wiechecki had 27 kills and 32 digs to lead Radford to a 3-1 victory over UNC Asheville Saturday afternoon at Justice Center. The Highlanders won the match by the scores of 25-22, 25-22, 26-28, 25-17.
The win coupled with Coastal Carolina’s five-set loss at High Point gave the Lady Highlanders the Big South Conference regular-season championship. Radford (22-9, 11-3 BSC) will be the top seed in next week’s Big South Conference championship at Presbyterian College (Nov. 21-25).
The loss for the Bulldogs on Senior Day spoiled a spectacular performance by senior libero Rachel Wells. Wells posted a school-record 54 digs in the defeat. She breaks the previous mark of 50 digs set by Leslie Whitfield in the 2002 season against Western Carolina.
Asheville also had a great day from senior blocker Anna Moore with a career-best 21 kills and seven blocks.
Radford also had 14 kills and 17 digs from Cheyanne James and 12 kills from Jesse Miedema. Savanna Burton had 15 digs, while Kelby Jackson contributed 14 digs.
RU took early leads in the first two sets and held off Bulldog comebacks to win each set by a 25-22 count.
In the third set, the Highlanders appeared in total command as they built a 23-13 lead and appeared ready to celebrate a championship.
But somehow Asheville roared back behind the serving of Wells as the Bulldogs cut the lead 23-17. RU got a kill from Wiechecki to move to match point at 24-17.
The home team was not ready to go down as the Bulldogs scored eight straight points to take a shocking 25-24 lead as Asheville’s blocking was very effective.
The Bulldogs would get a kill from Meredith Foster to keep the match alive at 28-26.
But Radford quickly took control of the fourth set and never allowed Asheville to make a run. The Lady Highlanders won the fourth set and a match from James to win the match and the championship.