2014 GRU Volleyball's Winning Point In First Round of NCAA SE Regional!
WINGATE, N.C. – The GRU Augusta women's volleyball team made their first NCAA Tournament appearance in the first round of the Division II Southeast Regional Thursday night and won a 3-2 match over the Anderson Trojans in the Cuddy Arena on the campus of Wingate University in Wingate, N.C. The set scores were (25-23, 27-25, 22-25, 23-25, 15-13).
If the Jags reach the NCAA Championship game on Saturday, Nov. 22, a charter bus will be provided by GRU Athletics for fans that Saturday. The bus is first-come, first-serve and will leave at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22 from Christenberry Fieldhouse if necessary.
The fourth-seed Jaguars (27-8) started seniors Kristen Koch and Maggie Darling, junior Katie Beresford, sophomore Catherine Desilvester, and freshman Kali Boatwright, Paige Elliott, and Sadie Thurston in the 3-2 win over the fifth-seed Anderson Trojans (25-9). GRU advances to the semifinal tomorrow night, Friday Nov. 21, at 7:30 p.m. and will meet the winner of one-seed Wingate and eighth-seed Erskine.
Both teams combined for only six total attack errors in a productive first set, with the Jags outhitting the fifth-seed Trojans .516 to .324. GRU's Sadie Thurston set up Koch on the outside for the first points of the night and Darling followed with a service ace to put GRU up 2-0 early in set one. The Jags built a four-point lead at 10-6, but the persistent Trojans evened it at 11-all on a Jaguar setting error and took the first lead of the match at 14-13 after AU's Priscilla Irizarry aced the serve. AU jumped to a two-point advantage that was spoiled by the Jags when Darling set up Elliott and Thurston set up Boatwright for two-straight kills to steal a 24-22 lead. Elliott recorded the set-winning kill at the net to seal set one for the Jags.
Boatwright recorded her career-high 19 kills on the night to record a .220 hitting percentage.
Set two was all about runs. AU got a dual block to begin the second set and cruised to a 7-2 lead after Hailey Pittman hammered four kills. Eventually down 15-10 midway through set two, GRU rallied for five-straight and tied it on a block by Boatwright and Katie Beresford. GRU trailed nearly the entire match until AU's Pittman had two straight attack errors for a two-point Jaguar lead at 19-17. The set was tied at 24-all and 25-all, but Koch struck a kill and Thurston knocked a sneaky attack to give the Jags a 2-0 lead in the match.
It was a back-and-forth affair in set three as the Jags tried to shut out Anderson. GRU took the opening point, but the lead didn't last long as AU had a fast turnaround to take a four-point advantage. Down 19-15, the Jags got some help from three AU errors and a Beresford kill to knot the set at 19-19. From that point, there were three tied scored before AU forced a fourth set with an Irizarry kill.
An Anderson ace started set four that sparked a three-point lead over GRU. Boatwright tied the set for GRU with a kill to make it six-all and jolted the offense for an 11-8 lead. A combo block from Beresford and Darling gave GRU their largest lead of the fourth set at 14-10 and caused AU to use their second to last timeout. AU hung around and tied the set at 15-all and 17-all before stealing a 23-18 lead to hang on for the set-four win and force a fifth and deciding.
The Jags strolled to an 8-4 lead and held a slight advantage over the Trojans, as they cut it to a one-point game on Shannon Gillespie's kill. Tied at 13-all, the Jags got kills from Boatwright and Koch to close out the match and secure a trip to the NCAA Southeast Regional semifinal game tomorrow night in Wingate, N.C. at 7:30 p.m.
Boatwright had a career-high 19 kills and Koch posted 18 kills, with each providing 19 digs. Thurston had 31 assists and Alyssa Latham 24. The Jags posted a .245 attack percentage to AU's .180 and had 10.5 blocks to the Trojans' 12.
- NCAA SOUTHEAST REGIONAL TOURNAMENT PAGE
- NCAA TOURNAMENT DIGITAL PROGRAM (GRU page 55)
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- LIVE VIDEO
- 2014 INTERACTIVE VOLLEYBALL BRACKET
- 2014 JAGUAR VOLLEYBALL PHOTO ALBUM
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In the regular season, the Jaguars fell to the AU Trojans in three-straight sets (25-20, 25-22, 25-21) on Sept. 27 in Anderson, S.C. Freshman Kali Boatwright had 13 kills and 14 digs, while the team hit .146 to .214. AU had 18 blocks to GRU's six in the loss.
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