Franklin Springs, Ga. – The Augusta University Volleyball defeated the Emmanuel Lions 3-1 in a non-conference contest. The Jags improve 19-7 on the season while the Lions drop to 11-11.
The top offensive performers for Augusta included Kylie Martin who led the team with 17 kills of 44 swings with only two errors for the match. Her hitting percentage of .341 was second best on the team, behind Chloe Allen who picked up a .444 hit percentage amassing 12 kills on the night to go along with 11 digs for a double-double. Kassie Till led the Jags in assists, dishing out 42 on the night.
The match was an extremely close affair, with all four sets being decided by no more than five points. The lions outscored the Jaguars 69-65 in points and picked up 60 kills to Augusta's 54. The Jags would win one of the most important battles though, that being hitting percentage. As a team, Augusta hit a solid .230 on the night while Emmanuel only managed a .174, committing 31 errors to Augusta's 17.
In the first set, Emmanuel shot out the gates red hot, taking a 9-3 lead over the visitors which included a 6-0 run. The Jags answered back in kind though, going on 7-1 run, picking up five straight points to tie the set at 10. Both teams continued to trade runs, keeping the score close. With Emmanuel leading late in the set 20-17, Allen fired off a kill that started the Jags on a late comeback, winning eight of the last 11 points to win the first set 25-23.
At the start of the second set it was the visitors turn to open things up hot. After dropping the first two points, Augusta strung together eight in a row, and 10 of the first 13 to lead 10-3. With the Jags earning 15-7 lead at the midway point, Emmanuel turned on the offense, taking six of the next eight points to pull within four. Augusta managed to play a safe game as the set progressed though, never letting their opponent any closer than that, closing out the set 25-20.
In the third set, the Jaguars opened up scoring the first three points, before both sides traded scoring. With the score 6-5 in favor of the visitors, the Lions went on a 6-0 run, continuing solid play throughout the middle portion of the set. Augusta battled fiercely though, bringing the score back to within three at 19-16 late in the set. Each side traded the next few points before the Jags went on a 4-0 run to tie the score at 22. The Lions wouldn't surrender the lead though, as they fought tooth and nail for a 25-23 win to force a fourth set.
Emmanuel opened up the fourth riding the momentum of the third, taking an early 4-0 lead. The Jaguars regained their composure and slowly brought the score back to manageable levels before tying it up 12-12 at the halfway mark. Here, the point trading continued, as neither side could get a strong advantage on the other. Then with the score 19-18 Augusta, and attack error by the Lions was just what the squad needed to gain some space, rounding off three in a row and never looking back. The set remained a close one, but the Jaguars closed it out 25-23 to end the match and claim the win.
Augusta will be back home for their next match when they take on the Flagler Saints on Saturday, November 2nd at 2:00 p.m. in the Christenberry Fieldhouse.