MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – The Augusta University women's volleyball team made their 25th appearance in the Peach Belt Conference Volleyball Tournament on Friday afternoon. The Jaguars forced a fifth set with Armstrong State University, but fell by two points in the near upset victory.
The Augusta Jaguars (17-16) were the sixth seed in the tourney and faced off against second-seeded Armstrong (24-6) in the opening round of the league tournament on the campus of Georgia College in Milledgeville, Ga.
The Jaguars recorded a .211 hitting percentage to Armstrong's .236 and out-blocked the Pirates 10.5 to 8.5. Augusta sophomore and second team All-Conference selection Blair Bolton led the team with 14 kills and three blocks.
Senior Jordan Bickett had 12 kills and 15 digs, sophomore Savanna Gonzales had 10 kills and the 2016 PBC Freshman of the Year, Jessica Hedrick, put up six blocks, four digs, and three kills. Freshman setter Payton Murchie posted 31 assists and Sammie Baker 17.
Armstrong was led by Kim Brody's 18 kills and Rachel Thompson and Raegan Grooms' 13 each. Carley Eiken carded 58 assists and Iva Scepanovic 24 assists.
The Pirates hit .364 in set one and won easily 25-15, but Augusta came back with an impressive 25-14 victory in set two. The back-and-forth match saw Armstrong ascend back to a 25-16 win in the third set and put them ahead 2-1 in the match.
With their season on the line, Augusta rallied and pushed the match to extra points.
The Jags trailed 20-18 in the final points of the fourth set, when Windle and Gonzales carded consecutive kills to the set. Bolton blasted two more kills and two Armstrong errors put the Jaguars up 24-20. A final kill from junior Madilyn Sanderson gave Augusta the win and forced the fifth.
The fifth set was tied eight times to start the final meeting. Murchie set up Bolton for a kill to make it 10-all, but the Pirates fired off three points to lead. Set five goes to 15 and the season was on the wire with a 14-14 score. A service error put the Pirates up 15-14 and an ace spoiled a near upset for the Jags. Armstrong took the day 16-14 to win the match 3-2.
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