Augusta Ga. – The Augusta University Volleyball team defeated to the Flagler Saints 3-1 today in a conference contest. The Jags are now 20-7 on the season with a 4-3 record in conference play. The Saints move to 18-7 with a 5-3 mark in Peach Belt matches.
Lead the Jaguar offense was Kylie Martin with 15 kills on the night followed by Madison Malloch's 12. Jessica Hedrick had the top hitting percentage for the team at .364. Samantha Zittrauer dished out a team high 29 assists, while Payton Murchie followed suit with 20.
Defensively, the Jags saw Holland Martin pick up the team lead with 21 digs. Chloe Allen managed 13 digs for the match while K. Martin earned a double-double with her 11 digs to pair with her kill total.
The Jaguars took control of the first set right from the start. With the score 18-10, Flagler was forced to burn its second timeout in an effort to regroup. The saints picked up a key block out the timeout but Nedu Evans slammed a kill down to stop any momentum. The Jags cruised to a 25-15 set victory thanks to the blocking effort of Allen and K. Martin on the last point.
In the second set, Flagler would pick up six of the first 10 points before Augusta turned the tables and take a 7-6 lead. The squads would trade scores until Augusta went on a 3-0 run into the halfway mark, capped off by a service ace by K. Martin to make it 12-9. Flagler would call a timeout to keep the set from getting away from them, but a block from Hedrick and Ramos kept moved the run to 4-0. The Saints kept it close, but Augusta built a sizeable lead at 21-14 late in the set and would surrender it. Despite Flagler's late attempt at a comeback closing the set with a 25-15 score on a kill from Hedrick.
Murchie opened up the third set with a service ace trying to set the tone early. Point tradeoffs would be the norm however, as the score was tied 5-5 to start. The Jags managed to string together five in a row to begin pulling away from their foe 12-7. Flagler would battle back into things though, tie the score at 14 halfway through. The home team regained their lead right away but the visitors continued to fight and tie the score again at 18. After Augusta would score the next two, Flagler took a timeout to stem the flow. K. Martin notched another kill right out of the break to make it 21-18 late, but the Saints would tie it again, this time at 21. An unorthodox kill from the Saints end forced the Jags to take a timeout of their own as they now trailed their opponent. Allen drove a kill through the hardwood to tie the match up again, but Flagler would take the set regardless 25-22.
In the fourth set Augusta started out on a 3-0 run before Flagler battle back into it. Flagler's blocking game came out strong for the set as they took the lead 9-8 through the early stages. The Jaguars couldn't find a way through the blockers, so they took their first timeout of the set to try and work out a plan. The break led to a nice block on the Jags end from Allen and Nicolette Ramos in an effort to turn the tide. A solo block from Malloch, a laser kill from K. Martin, and an ace from Allen gave Augusta the lead 13-12 halfway through. More stout defense from the home squad force Flagler to take a timeout as they found themselves trailing by two now. Each side would trade points out of the break, with Augusta holding a 20-17 advantage late in the set. The trade-offs continued with neither side gaining an edge, but with a three point lead they didn't need to find one, as they would close the set out 25-22 to take the match.
The Jags travel to Milledgeville, Ga. for their next match against Georgia College on Tuesday, November 5th at 7:00 p.m.