AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Augusta University volleyball team hosted their home opener with the 2016 Augusta Volleyball Invitational in Christenberry Fieldhouse on Saturday and beat North Greenville 3-1 and swept Southern Wesleyan 3-0.
The tournament was four matches across one day of action and featured Augusta, Georgia College, North Greenville, and Southern Wesleyan. Augusta met North Greenville and Southern Wesleyan, while hosting two neutral site matches: GC vs. SWU and GC vs. NGU
Augusta ( went up 7-0 in their home opener against NGU behind freshmen Kenya Stokes' long run on the service line. A .333 attack percentage from the Jags willed them to a 25-14 set one win. NGU responded with a 25-21 victory in the second set, but Augusta won 25-20 and 25-18 to close it out for the win.
Against NGU, Augusta was led by sophomore duo Savanna Gonzales and Blair Bolton who each had 15 kills. Freshman Jessica Hedrick had 12 kills and freshman Savanna Roy 10. Roy added 16 digs and rookie setter Sammie Baker notched a match-high 49 assists with 11 digs.
The Jags totaled 60 kills to the Crusaders 39 and posted a .255 hitting percentage to .147 from NGU.
In their second match of the day, Augusta faced Southern Wesleyan to wrap up the event. Roy had the opening kill to put the Jags on serve and Bickett brought it to 5-1 while on the service line.
The Warriors wouldn't let up and stole a 9-8 lead on an ace of their own. There was 12 tied scores in set one, but the Jags survived 25-22.
Back-to-back aces from freshman Kenya Stokes started set two against SWU and the Jags cruised to a 7-3 advantage which led to a Warrior timeout. The Jaguars never lost control in the set and took another close rally with Southern Wesleyan 25-21.
Augusta made a statement with a 25-17 set three win to take the match and sweep the day for their time in Christenberry Fieldhouse of the 2016 season.
Senior Jordan Bickett's 10 kills and 12 digs anchored Augusta as Roy added 10 more kills and six digs to continue a strong start to her freshmen season. Bolton killed 11 shots while seniors Catherine DeSilvester and JaNhea Beisner combined for 32 digs. Baker added 47 assists, nine, and assisted three blocks.
In the two neutral site matches, Georgia College took on Southern Wesleyan to start the event at 10:30 a.m. and won 3-0. In the second neutral site match, the GC Bobcats faced off against North Greenville and prevailed 3-0.
The Jags begin Peach Belt Conference play on Friday, Sept. 16 at Columbus State in Columbus, Ga.
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