AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Augusta University women's volleyball team outlasted the Francis Marion Patriots 3-2 on Friday night in Peach Belt Conference play for their third straight win.
On Tuesday morning, the Jaguars (8-3, 4-1 PBC) awoke to news that they are receiving votes for the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll.
Returning from a leg injury, Jaguar senior Rachel Windle made her first start of the year and freshman setter Payton Murchie made her collegiate debut on Friday night. Windle ended the night with 12 kills, an ace, and three digs.
Murchie helped Augusta to a 5-1 lead in set one – setting up sophomore Blair Bolton for two opening kills. FMU (9-6, 3-3 PBC) came back and tied the set 8-8 and back-to-back aces gave them their first lead of the night.
Augusta closed the gap and junior Madilyn Sanderson made it 15-14 with an unassisted kill, but the Patriots prevailed for a 25-19 win.
In the second set, it was Bolton again who gave the Jags the first lead. The set was tied three times, but Augusta turned on the offense and posted a .267 attack percentage to win 25-20 and even the match.
The Jaguars took a 3-1 lead with a 25-17 set-three win. Senior Jordan Bickett had two aces to close the third set, but Francis Marion won 25-16 for the largest win margin in set four to force and fifth and final set.
Murchie posted 27 assists and six digs in the win, while Baker had 25 with two aces and 1 digs. Freshman Jessica Hedrick and Bickett each turned in 13 kills, while Bickett added 14 digs. Bolton ended with 11 kills and Gonzales 10 in the win.
FMU's Caroline Boone had 14 kills and Georgia Garrison 13 kills. Patriot's setter Carrie McGinnis recorded 43 assists and Shelbi Meek had 24 assists.
The Jaguars had a .278 hitting percentage to FMU's .200 and recorded four more blocks.
The Jaguars host Parents Weekend this Friday and Saturday with three matches in Christenberry Fieldhouse. Augusta plays a Peach Belt Conference match on Friday, Sept. 30 against Francis Marion University and hosts UNC Pembroke (2pm) and Paine College (5pm) on Saturday, Oct. 1.
Partnering with the Augusta University College of Education, the Augusta Jaguars women's volleyball team will host Domestic Violence Awareness Night on Tuesday, Oct. 4 during their home match against the University of Montevallo at 6:00 p.m. in Christenberry Fieldhouse.
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