Bearcats fall to Augusta in PBC quarterfinals


Milledgeville, Ga. – The Lander volleyball team (15-12, 4-8 PBC) fell in the quarterfinals of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament at the hands of Augusta (18-14, 6-6 PBC) by a margin of 3-1. Freshman Hannah Hritz led the team with 17 kills while junior Sophia Perkins topped the team with 22 assists and 18 digs in the losing effort.

Augusta took the first set behind an early rally that saw Lander trailing 14-9. A comeback late in the first set saw the Bearcats cut the lead to 22-21. However the attack of the Jaguars was too strong down the stretch, as junior McKenzey Beck notched two straight kills to give Augusta the 25-21 first set win.

The Bearcats evened the score in the second set behind five kills from Hritz and three from senior Kristin Martindale. Lander took advantage of 11 errors committed by the Jaguars en route to the 25-22 victory.

The third set saw Augusta claim the lead at 12-7 after both teams battled in a back and forth affair in the early going. Lander found its footing in the game behind freshman Megan Faris. The Myrtle Beach native served a team-high six times in the set. Nevertheless, the offense of Augusta again proved to be too much. Junior Savanna Gonzales provided five kills to propel the Jaguars with the 25-23 win.

In the decisive fourth set, Lander gained the advantage for just two points. After losing by a score of 2-0, the Jaguars regrouped and found four straight points to gain a lead that they would never relent. The Bearcats made a charge late in the game to cut the deficit to 21-18, but Augusta again responded with a 4-1 run to notch the 25-19 match win.

Martindale poured in three service aces in the loss. Senior Reyonia Whipple led the team with an impressive eight assisted blocks and one solo. Augusta overcame a mark of 30 errors on the win.

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