AUGUSTA, Ga. - GRU Augusta dropped a Peach Belt Conference contest to the Lander Bearcats 3-1 on Saturday afternoon in Christenberry Fieldhouse.
The Jags (1-10, 0-5 PBC) took a 6-3 advantage in the first set, but ran into trouble with the Bearcats' defense holding the Jags to a .135 hitting percentage in set one. GRU went up 12-9, but with LU's Julia Ferreira-Alves on serve, the Bearcats rallied for a 14-all comeback. Despite LU winning the next two points, both teams responded to one another – resulting in a tie score nine times throughout the first set. The Bearcats called a timeout at 22-all and scored the next three points to take the set 25-22.
Jags junior Kristen Koch, who led the team in set-one kills (seven), struck first for GRU Augusta in set two. The Jags could not string together much as the Bearcats took a 10-7 lead into GRU's first timeout. Lander maintained for the majority of the set, but the Jags battled to take a 20-19 lead. A serving error from LU netted things at 22-all and left Jags junior Maggie Darling on serve. The Jags won the next three points behind Darling to even the sets with a 25-22 win. LU outhit the Jags .171 to .169 in set two, but it was GRU's 31 kills to LU's 20 that overcame the hitting errors for the Jags' win.
LU took care of GRU in the final two sets, winning 25-15 in the third and fourth set. GRU posted 45 kills to LU's 33 in set three, but the Bearcats' .245 hitting percentage to the Jags' .178 gave them the edge. For the match, Lander outhit GRU Augusta .260 to .160 and had 13.0 team blocks to the Jags' 2.0 blocks.
Koch paced the Jags with 19 kills and Paige Tuttle and Kailla Baptiste had 11 and 10. Junior-transfer Chandler Mass recorded a team-leading 46 assists and Maggie Darling led in digs with 27. Baptiste and Koch each contributed 10 digs in the 3-1 loss. LU's Hannah Dederick led with 14 kills and Jessica Register had 39 assists to pace the Bearcats.
The Jags return tomorrow, Sunday Sept. 29 for a PBC match against the Flagler Saints.