PBC Tournament: Flagler Sweeps Into Semifinals 3-0
AUGUSTA, GA – The second-seeded Flagler Saints used big runs in all three sets to sweep #7 Montevallo in the opening match of the 2011 PBC Volleyball Tournament in Augusta. The Saints, who have not lost a PBC Tournament match in their three years as a part of the conference, advance to Saturday’s semifinals against either Francis Marion or UNC Pembroke. Match scores were 25-18, 26-24, 25-21.
Flagler (26-6) hit .316 in the match with only 12 errors in their 136 total attacks. Dianna Craine led the charge with 16 kills with only two errors in 40 attacks. Crystal Niederriter and Sophie Meyer each added 11 kills while Rachel Stacy had nine. Olivia Snipes set a single-season school record for assists as she had 47 in the match and also led the team with 12 digs.
Michelle Walker led the Falcons (13-18) with 11 kills while Manyi Ati and Michelle Carle had 10 each. Montevallo hit .212 as a team with Anna Garrison generating 34 assists. Rachel Wotitzky led UM with 19 digs.
Montevallo held the lead in all three sets including a 10-8 lead in the opener following a kill from Carle. But Flagler answered with six of the next eight points, including four in a row with kills from Craine and Niederriter. Montevallo rallied to tie the set at 16 before a service error and kills from Craine, Stacy and Emilee Taylor along with a UM attack error gave the Saints five straight points and a 21-16 lead on the way to a seven-point set win.
UM’s best chance to get back into the match came in the second set. Neither team led by more than two points until Stacy and Craine combined for back-to-back kills to give Flagler a 21-17 lead. Down 22-19, Montevallo fought back with five straight points behind the serve of Garrison. Following an attack error, Walker had back-to-back kills followed by another Flagler error and a Carle kill for a 24-22 lead. But Flagler fought off two straight set points with kills from Stacy and Taylor as part of a 4-0 run to take the second set 26-24.
Montevallo once again held tough in the third set and the score was tied at 15 before Flagler went on a 6-2 run to open a 21-17 lead. Craine had two kills during the run, both on short sets from Snipes that found the middle of the UM defense. Taylor provided the match-sealing kill to advance the Saints.
Montevallo out-blocked Flagler five to four but the Saints had the edge in digs 64-56. The Saints hit .368 in the first set and .375 in the final set.
Flagler will face their next opponent at 4:00 pm on Saturday.