STORY BY: Mitchell Hauff
Jags host final regular-season home match against Georgia College in Christenberry Fieldhouse
AUGUSTA, Ga. - In a pivotal game for conference standings, the Augusta University Jaguars defeated the Georgia College Bobcats in four sets on Wednesday night in Christenberry Fieldhouse. The Jags followed up on a 3-0 win in Milledgeville last month to sweep the series.
Before the match, the Jaguar volleyball team presented the GRU Cancer Center with a check for over $1,000 as part of their Pink Out night to raise funds and awareness towards fighting cancer.
Savanna Gonzales led the way in kills for the Jaguars with 17, followed closely by Kali Boatwright with 16. Alyssa Latham posted 51 assists and Cat DeSilvester records a solid 29 digs. The Jags out-attacked GC .202 to .168. Junior-transfer Rachel Windle entered the match ranked fifth in the league in hitting percentage (.299) and 10th in blocks (77) and assisted blocks (66). Windle added 13 kills on the night.
The first set was a dominant one from Georgia College. The Bobcats jumped out to a 13-9 lead. The Jags seemed to be making a comeback, closing the score to 15-14 before a string of points for Georgia College gave them a 17-14 lead. That small shift of momentum back to the Bobcats was all they needed as they only lost the lead once and closed out the first set.
In set two, a save by Kali Boatwright at 2-2, nearly running into the scorer's table, proved to be that advantage for the Jags. Augusta would go on to win the next three points and take a 5-2 lead. This set, much like the last, remained gridlocked through much of the set, until a strong service effort from Cat DeSilvester put the Jags ahead 17-14 prompting a timeout by Georgia College. The Jags continued their lead until GC won three straight points late in the set to make it 23-23. A kill by Boatwright and a tricky tip by Alyssa Latham in the next two points gave the Jags the second set 25-23.
The third set presented much of the same story as the first two sets, remaining gridlocked until a kill at 17-16 by Kali Boatwright gave the Jags a little momentum. A flurry of kills in the last four points of the set, the deciding one coming from Katie Beresford, sent the Bobcats reeling and gave Augusta the third set and a 2-1 lead in the match.
The Bobcats took a 13-9 lead and stretched it to a 16-11 lead before Augusta took a timeout to regroup. Coming off the break, the Jaguars won five of the next six points to get themselves back in the set. Augusta kept the attack coming to take a 20-19 lead and force a timeout by Georgia College. The set would ultimately be taken past the regulation 25 points where the Jags showed true resolve. In an emotionally-charged next few points, the Jaguars saved five set points to take the final set 31-29 to the explosion of the crowd as Augusta topped their conference rival.
The Jaguars travel to Claflin University in Orangeburg, S.C., on Saturday, Nov. 14 to face Bluefield State at 10:00 a.m. and Claflin at 12:00 p.m. to conclude the regular-season play. The Peach Belt Conference Tournament begins on Tuesday Nov. 17 for the first-round quarterfinal matches.
The top eight teams advance to the tourney and top four seeded teams host the bottom four seeded teams for the quarterfinals. The semifinals and championship will be held at the highest remaining seed after quarterfinal play.
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