Author Archives: The Critograph

Women’s Volleyball Team Stung by Rival in First Round

Abbi Leeper jumping to hit a volleyball
Abbi Leeper spiking a ball. Image from

William Masselli ~ Sports Columnist

     The University of Lynchburg Women’s Volleyball Team enjoyed a successful season, finishing third in a competitive conference, but the team lost to archrival Randolph-Macon in the ODAC quarterfinals.

     Interim Head Coach Hannah Givens said “Being able to host the first round of the ODAC tournament was such a reward,” she began. “We worked hard this season and being able to host a conference tournament game proved it. This is the first time we hosted an ODAC first round match since 2016, so we are really proud of this accomplishment.” 

     Alexis Horner, a freshman middle blocker, said, “The loss to Randolph Macon does sting. However, I see every game as an opportunity to learn and implement what we practice every week. The losses are opportunities for the players on the team to figure out what they need to improve on. After the loss to Randolph-Macon, I feel more motivated than ever to work hard over summer break, so I can be ready to compete in the fall.”

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News and Brief for the Week of May 3rd

Biden aims for vaccinating 70% of adult Americans by July 4 - KXLY
Getting a Covid shot. Image from

Biden aims for vaccinating 70% of adult Americans by July 4


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Tuesday set a new vaccination goal to deliver at least one dose to 70% of adult Americans by July Fourth, focusing on easing access to shots as his administration tackles the vexing problem of winning over those reluctant to get inoculated.

The new goal comes as demand for vaccines has dropped off markedly nationwide, with some states leaving more than half their vaccine doses unordered. Biden called for states to make vaccines available on a walk-in basis and will direct many pharmacies to do the same, and his administration is for the first time moving to shift doses from states with weaker demand to areas with stronger interest in the shots.

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Wellness Day Hike

Gannon Vitelli ~ Breaking News Editor 

     One of the activities held for the final wellness day at the University of Lynchburg was a nature walk at the Claytor Nature Center. 

     Students and faculty participated in a hike on April 30 at the Claytor Nature Center which consisted of moving up the Narrows trail up the Cloverlea Farmhouse and gardens, and by the Big Otter River.

     Along with the hike was a one-hour beginner’s yoga session held by Christine Euhus, the University of Lynchburg yoga instructor. 

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Community Market Find Success Despite the Pandemic

Lynchburg’s Farmer’s Market. Photo taken by Pete Deaver.

Pete Deaver ~ Guest Writer

     One year after quarantine hit full force, vendors at the Lynchburg Community Market indicate that it was a very profitable year.

     When the pandemic hit roughly one year ago, and efforts to stay home and stay safe increased, small businesses took a massive blow. According to a survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank, 30% of surveyed business owners indicated that their business would likely not survive the impact of the pandemic.

     However, farmers in Lynchburg, Va., and surrounding areas, tell a different story. 

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The Sandusky Dig

Evy Brunelle ~ News Editor

     As the last few weeks of the spring semester wrap up, the Historic Sandusky House has been welcoming students and excavating artifacts. 

     Ashani Parker, a senior, said, “At Sandusky, I am a lab technician, meaning I access and catalogue artifacts that come in from the field sites. On campus, I am president of the Archaeology Society and a member of the Archaeology Advisory Board. I help make the archaeology major more accessible and profitable for students.” 

     Parker explained what has been happening at the Historic Sandusky House. “We have had a fair amount of students sign up and continue to participate,” she said. “These students have learned a lot in a short time. Furthermore, they are enjoying the process of excavating. Currently, they have been finding a lot of ceramics and a few old coins that have been particularly helpful in dating the site.” 

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Bedford Hike for Hope

Dell on campus promoting the Bedford Hike for Hope. Image from the Bedford VA Hike for Hope Facebook page.

Cassandra Matthews ~ Assistant Editor

     The annual Hike for Hope is occurring at the Claytor Nature Center on May 8. 

     This event is being put on by the University of Lynchburg and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to bring awareness to suicide prevention efforts while raising money for the cause. 

     To raise money for AFSP, registrants for the hike will share their fundraising page, asking friends, family, and the community to help.

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Hiking Trails at the Claytor Nature Center

Trees, flowers, and sun. Graphic by Cassandra Matthews

Cassandra Matthews ~ Assistant Editor

     Hiking is just one of the many recreational opportunities that can be explored at the Claytor Nature Center.

     The trails reach a total of just under eight miles, and are home to a number of flora and fauna. 

     Dan Miles is the facilities manager, and he has been in charge of creating and maintaining the trails. “I have enjoyed this opportunity at the Claytor Center enormously. To me, it is an art form. I got my training with the local Appalachian Trail club and during my 17 years as a wilderness ranger and trail crew chief in the National Forests of Washington state.”

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New Lynchburg Merch

TJ Harvey ~ Guest Writer

     In the past few weeks, there has been a small buzz going around campus about the new University of Lynchburg merch. The question is: where did it all come from?

     Christopher Sumo, a sophomore, who is interested in fashion and design partnered with the campus store at the University. 

     “I want to work with them because one, I am a student. The truth is I am interested in fashion and design and working with the school store will help me practice that… Working with them will give me the opportunity to be exposed so people can see my work and see what I am capable of,” says Sumo. 

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Staying on Track

Track & field raises both ODAC championship trophies!
The women’s track and field team celebrating a win. Image from

William Masselli ~ Sports Columnist

     On May 2, 2021, the University of Lynchburg Women’s Track and Field Team won the ODAC championship. 

     Director of Cross-Country Track and Field Jim Sprecher highlighted the importance of the contributions that two seniors in particular made, stating, “Both Stephanie Burnett and Jackie Wilson made big contributions to our ODAC title, as both won two titles each. More importantly, both were involved in the most exciting victories of the championship. Burnett won the 10,000 meter and 5,000 meter runs in heroic fashion. Wilson anchored the 4×400-meter relay with a come from behind victory in the last event of the meet.” 

     Wilson stated, “Seeing the team storm the track to celebrate my accomplishment and the team’s accomplishment is a memory that I will never forget.” 

     Burnett said, “This is truly an exciting feeling. The most exciting part is winning as a team. Also, I am ecstatic that the men and women both won the ODAC. It is always an amazing feeling to win at home in front of your parents and fans. The atmosphere was electric, and I thought that having the championship at Lynchburg made winning the championship ten times more exciting.” 

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Men’s Tennis Team Left It on the Court in ODAC Quarterfinal

Daniel Christian follows through on a tennis shot
Daniel Christian playing tennis. Image from

William Masselli ~ Sports Columnist

     On May 2, 2021, the University of Lynchburg Men’s Tennis Team was defeated by the Roanoke Maroons in the ODAC quarterfinal. 

     Despite the loss in the quarterfinal, the University of Lynchburg Men’s Tennis Team enjoyed a successful season. Colton Mullins, a captain, talked about the highlights of this season, stating, “Our best win was against Hampden Sydney because this is a rivalry that we have not won in many years.” 

     Daniel Christian, a senior and captain, wanted to give credit to his coaches and teammates for the successful season. He said, “All credit goes to my teammates, Coach Johnson, and Coach Randall. Our coaches practice with us and get us to where we need to be. Also, my teammates have all done their part to ensure we not only made the first round of the ODAC tournament, but also were able to host it.” 

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Mystic Magic: The Grand Finale

A planchette for a Ouija Board. Photo retrieved from

Grace Cavanaugh ~ Editor in Chief

     I am getting a little emotional writing this.

     I have been writing Mystic Magic for…three years now. It all started when I wrote my first article on Tarot cards and common misconceptions, and it has been a wild time since.

     As I am graduating later this month, this will be my last opinion article. I have learned so much writing Mystic Magic, and I have had such a good time over the years. I wanted to leave some witchy tips for my last article, so here you go!

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Nerd Factor: Grateful Nerd

Wanda and Vision from the Disney+ show, Wandavision. Photo retrieved from

Dr. Mike Robinson ~ UL Communication Studies Professor

     This year reminded me how happy and grateful I was to be a nerd. 

     Most of the time while writing this column, I avoided writing about the coronavirus. Oh, COVID-19 slipped into my thinking here and there. I did start the year talking about how some superhero masks gave a certain advantage against disease transmission. I did decide against seeing New Mutants in the theater, calculating that it was safer to stay at home. Overall, I just stayed away from the topic. 

     That felt like instinct, but in life that usually means my brain is doing some kind of math that I have not understood. Part of this stance was a concern about the seriousness of the topic. This column bounces between joyful celebration and snarky irreverence. Neither mode seemed quite right for so terrible a pandemic. Another, and certainly larger, part was the desire to avoid the topic. I wanted a distraction. I wanted an escape. 

     Thinking about those motivations caused my renewed appreciation for my nerdiness. I needed a lot of escapes this year. 

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Critograph Volume 105 Issue 28

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