Augusta, Ga. – The No. 3 seeded Augusta University Volleyball team defeated the No. 6 seeded UNC Pembroke Braves 3-1 in the first round of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament. Augusta is now 25-8 overall while the Braves fall to 15-21. Scores were 25-21, 21-25, 25-11 and 25-22.
Augusta was led by Madison Malloch and Nicolette Ramos who each amassed 13 kills in the contest. Jessica Hedrick was named the Player of the Match with a team high .346 hitting percentage and 12 kills. Payton Murchie topped the team with assists, dishing out 22.
Defensively, the Jags were led by Holland Martin who picked up 21 digs in the match. Chloe Allen led the squad with three blocks on the night.
Elly Hicks had nine kills to lead UNC Pembroke while Raven Oates had eight kills and 16 digs. Brianna Warren had seven kills and three total blocks.
The first set saw both squads battle back and forth early. With Augusta up 15-14 the Jags called a timeout as the Braves looked to have the momentum. Augusta would then string together five of the next six points to take the largest lead of the set at 20-15. The Braves pulled in close making it a one point game, but Hannah Seifert slammed the door on any thoughts of a comeback, blasting a kill right through the middle of the Braves defense to win the set 25-21.
The Braves took the second set by a score of 25-21 to even things up at one set apiece.
The Jags bounced back in the best way possible, absolutely dominating in the third set. Despite things being tied at 5-5 early, the Jaguars' offense put on a show, driving home 12 of the next 16 points to take a commanding lead. The Jags picked up a 25-11 victory in the set only surrendering two points to the Braves in the final third of the set.
In the fourth set the Jaguars found themselves down early, trailing 7-3. By the halfway point though, the Jags found their spark again, battling back to tie things up. 13-13. The match became a back-and-forth affair once again as each side kept pace with the other. Malloch provided the spark the Jags were looking for though, when she blasted home a kill to make it 19-19. Kylie Martin followed suit with a kill of her own to give the Jaguars a lead they would not surrender. On match point Hedrick shut things down, firing a perfect set by Payton Murchie through the Braves defenders to close out the match 25-22.
The Jaguars return tomorrow for the second round of the PBC Tournament, when they face the hosts and No. 2 seed USC Aiken at 2:00 p.m. in Aiken, S.C.