NCAA Volleyball: Saints sweep Royals to advance to the semifinals

NCAA Volleyball: Saints sweep Royals to advance to the semifinals

WINGATE, N.C. – Flagler College had a block party in its NCAA Division II Southeast Regional quarterfinal match against Queens University of Charlotte. The Saints had 10.0 total team blocks and the defense recorded 88 digs in a sweep (25-22, 25-20, 25-16) of the Royals Thursday afternoon at Cuddy Arena.

Flagler (24-8), the No. 7 seed, advances to face the No. 3 seed, Carson-Newman University (27-7), at 5 p.m. tomorrow. Carson-Newman swept Anderson University in the first quarterfinal of the day. Queens (24-7) was the No. 2 seed.

"You got to see a locked in team this afternoon,' said head coach Matt Affolder. "We were motived. This team has continued to build itself and gain momentum. We had a sour taste in our mouth after the conference tournament final, but we knew this was a "new" season, a second season, and it's all about who we are playing."

The Saints negated Queens' all-region outside hitter Casey Tarvin, who was held to just six kills on 40 swings. She came into the match averaging 3.74 kills per set, but was held to her lowest total since having five kills vs. Virginia-Wise on Oct. 19. Tarvin hit -.083 in the final set as she had two kills and three errors on 12 swings.

Rachel Machovec paced the Saints with her 11th double-double of the year. She recorded a match-high 14 kills to go along with 19 digs and three total blocks. Honorable mention all-region Karlie Redfern notched her team-leading 12th double-double with 13 kills and 21 digs. Kennedy Muff recorded her 10th double-double as she tallied 39 assists and tacked on 12 digs. She added three block assists and two aces. Kayla Norelli finished with 21 digs. Logan Garcia led the block party for the Saints with five. She hit .500 with seven kills and had one error on 12 swings. Jordan Taylor added four block assists and hit .400 with seven kills with just one error on 15 swings.

Both teams struggled in the first set with their hitting percentages (Flagler at .100 and Queens at .094), but the Saints dominated in the second set hitting a sizzling .400 as they had 17 kills and only one error on 40 swings.

Logan Witt, an all-region selection, led the Royals with nine kills and three total blocks. Mallory Swarts tallied 26 assists and added nine digs. JayCee Jones collected a match-high 23 digs.