AIKEN, SC – The Augusta Jaguars played solid defense at the net and made few errors on their attack to sweep USC Aiken 3-0 in the semifinals of the PBC volleyball tournament on Saturday in Aiken. The win propels the third-seeded Jaguars (26-8) to the final for the second year in a row; they will defend their 2018 tournament title on Sunday at 1:00 pm. USC Aiken (25-5) will await their seed for the NCAA Tournament, the field will be announced on Monday.
Augusta cruised through the first two sets, winning 25-15 and 25-14. The Jaguars were were solid, hitting .224 in the first set and .318 in the second, committing only six attack errors combined. That stood in stark contrast to the Pacers, who had more attack errors than kills in the first two sets.
All of that changed in the third set as the teams played a back-and-forth affair. USCA had set point at 24-23 following a kill from Alie Smith, but Augusta responded with a kill from Nicolette Ramos to even the score. USCA had a second set point at 26-25 following an AU attack error, but again Ramos delivered for AU, getting a kill on that point and another two serves later to deliver the match to the Jaguars 28-26.
Ramos led Augusta with 11 kills in the match to go with four digs and a block. Madison Malloch added 10 kills and three blocks while Jessica Hedrick had seven kills and five blocks. Samantha Zittrauer led AU with 19 assists while Holland Martin had 15 digs.
PBC Player of the Year Christine Carroll led all players with 12 kills in the match for USC Aiken and was the only Pacer to reach double digits. Mallory Balash had 15 assists while Rebecca Martinez had 19 digs.
Augusta will face either Flagler or Lander in the PBC Championship on Sunday at 1:00pm.