MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – The Augusta University women's volleyball team concluded its 2017 season on Saturday afternoon with a 3-0 loss to top-seeded Flagler in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament semifinals.
Augusta ends the season 18-15 overall, after advancing past Lander in the tournament quarterfinal match to face Flagler.
With the win, the top-seeded Saints will return to the championship match for the eighth time in the last nine years; Flagler is the two-time defending tournament champion. Augusta fell to the Flagler 25-21, 25-20 and 25-14. Flagler won their 18th straight match and improved to 23-3 on the year.
Jags junior Savanna Gonzales had 10 kills to lead Augusta, hitting .556 with no errors in 18 attacks. First-team All-PBC honoree, McKenzy Beck, came just shy of her 13th triple-double of the season as she finished with seven kills, 13 assists and 12 digs.
PBC Freshman of the Year Karlie Redfern led the attack with 16 kills and a .308 hitting percentage for Flagler, adding 11 digs and five total blocks. Taja Valmyr and Sara Davis had 10 kills each, Davis hit .588 with no errors in her 17 attacks.
All three sets followed the same basic pattern as the two teams were close early on, only to have Flagler make big runs to pull away. In the first set, Augusta led 8-6 before the Saints ran off seven points in a row. Augusta worked the lead back down to three at 22-19, but Valmyr had back-to-back kills for the Saints, who won the set on an AU attack error.
The second set was tied at seven when the Saints went on a 5-1 run which featured kills from Redfern, Davis and Regan Swift. Augusta closed that gap again at 20-18, but Flagler got two kills from Davis and an ace from Rachel Porada to put the Jaguars away.
The third set was also tied at seven when Flagler went on a run. Valmyr again led the way with three kills as part of a 7-1 run. With Flagler up 14-11, Raquel Kulak had back-to-back kills as the Saints ran off seven straight points to capture their spot in the Championship Match.
Tara Savisky had 41 assists for the Saints while Kayla Norelli led the team with 13 digs. Flagler had five blocks as a team to Augusta's four.
Flagler will face the winner of the Georgia College/USC Aiken semifinal on Sunday at 2 pm in Milledgeville.
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