ATLANTA, Ga. – The GRU Augusta Jaguars found their way back from a 2-0 deficit to overcome the Montevallo Falcons for a 3-2 Peach Belt Conference victory, before downing Clark Atlanta in straight sets on Wednesday afternoon in Epps Gymnasium on the campus of Clark Atlanta University.
The Jaguars (12-4, 3-2 PBC) had to respond from a 2-0 hole for the first time of the 2014 season. GRU Augusta junior Kailla Baptiste came off the bench and posted her season-high 17 kills to pace the Jags against UM (10-6, 2-2 PBC). Senior Kristen Koch added 17 kills and nine digs and junior-setter Alyssa Latham carded her GRU career-high with 42 assists in the 3-1 win.
Baptiste provided six early kills to lead GRU in set one, but the team's .119 attack percentage and four blocks from the Falcons put the Jags in a hole. GRU recorded their worst hitting percentage of the night in set two as UM cruised to a 25-15 victory - the largest margin of all five sets.
The Jags built seven-point leads twice in set three, but UM libero Carissa Bell got the Falcons within two on a service ace. Holding a slight lead, the Jaguars called a timeout after the Falcons sparked another rally to bring the set within one point. Out of the break, GRU senior Maggie Darling blasted a kill to the back line and Baptiste and junior Katie Beresford shared a block for a 22-19 lead. The Jags outlasted UM for a 25-23 win (the closest set all night) to force a must-win set four.
GRU had 14 kills and five errors (.281 attack percentage) in their 25-20 set-four victory. In the fifth and deciding set, GRU was tied at five-all when they took their first lead on Maggie Darling's service ace. GRU held on for a 15-12 win to take the match. GRU's Catherine Desilvester led the team with 20 digs, while Kali Boatwright added 13 and Latham 10. Despite taking a 3-2 victory, the Jags were outhit .25-to-.174 and had six less blocks than UM.
In the second match of the day, a non-conference affair between the Jags and Clark Atlanta, GRU won in three straight sets – sparked by Katie Beresford's and Kailla Baptiste's nine kills apiece. The Jaguars combined for 15 service aces in the shut-out victory, while Latham provided 28 assists.