Augusta Beats Top-Seeded Wingate to Advance to Region Final!

Augusta's Nicolette Ramos
Augusta's Nicolette Ramos

Wingate, N.C. – The Augusta University Volleyball team defeated Wingate Bulldogs 3-2 in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.

Nicolette Ramos picked up a team high 14 kills in the match while hitting .200. Chloe Allen led the Jags with her .217 hitting percentage while picking up nine kills. Payton Murchie dished out 23 assists while Samantha Zittrauer totaled 20 in the match.

Defensively, Holland Martin scooped up 18 digs, while Ramos paired 10 digs with her kill count to notch a double-double.

The Jags held the lead in the first set for a majority of play. However, the Bulldogs battled back to snatch the set away from Augusta 26-24.

In the second set Augusta, again, found themselves ahead by a fair margin. The Jags opened with a 6-2 lead thanks in part to the serving prowess of Madison Malloch. Augusta pushed the lead to 14-7 halfway through on a blast by Jessica Hedrick.

This time around the Jags finished strong, blowing away the bulldogs 25-13 to even the set at 1-1.

The tournament hosts came out firing in the third set, with the Jags on the receiving end of an offensive onslaught. Wingate jumped out to a 7-1 lead right out the gates. Augusta took a timeout to regroup and slow the pace. Despite this, the Bulldogs maintained their distance, never letting the Jags and closer than five points.

Wingate would close out the set 25-13 and headed into the fourth set leading 2-1.

With their backs against the wall, Augusta went on a 7-1 run to start things off. After a timeout from the Bulldog bench, the squads traded points with the Jag lead slowly being chipped away. Augusta would bend, but they didn't break, as they regained their sizable advantage, closing out the set 25-12, forcing a fifth and deciding set.

Ramos and Hedrick opened the fifth set with a block for the first score, while Kylie Martin followed it up with a service ace to make it 2-0. The Jags maintained a two point lead as the moved to the halfway point, leading 8-6 as the teams switched sides.

Wingate tied the set at eight after the switch, but a costly attack error gave Augusta the lead once again. The Bulldogs picked up three straight points after surrendering the lead to make it 11-9, forcing Augusta to take a timeout. The Jags battled back after the break, tying things up late at 12.

With the score at 14-13 and match point for the Jags, Wingate took a timeout, but Ramos drilled home a kill as play resumed to seal the match for Augusta.

The Jaguars will face Carson Newman in the Region Championship match tomorrow at 5:00 p.m.