PBC Tournament: Armstrong Sweeps Lander; Advances to Semis
AUGUSTA, GA – The Armstrong Atlantic State Pirates hit .361 as a team and cruised into the PBC Tournament semifinals with a 3-0 sweep of eighth-seeded Lander on Friday in Augusta. The Pirates (34-1) will face the winner of the USC Aiken/Augusta State match on Saturday at 6:00 pm. Lander sees their season come to a close with a 13-19 overall mark. Match scores were 25-11, 25-18 and 25-17.
The Pirates wasted little time in establishing the pattern of the match, jumping out to an 11-5 advantage in the first set. Armstrong was nearly unstoppable in the opener, hitting .519 with only two errors in their 27 attacks with 15 kills. The Pirates were up only two at 7-5 before going on a 10-2 run that included a stretch of five straight points behind the serve of Jessica Santaniello.
The second set was nearly identical as the two teams were close with Armstrong leading 12-10 before going on a 7-2 run with five straight points on the serve of Stacy Davis. Brendyce Budd had two kills in those five points and was a part of the block along with Santaniello that ended the set 25-18.
Lander responded in the third set with their best effort, collecting three of their five blocks and holding Armstrong to a .231 hitting percentage. Lander’s Jordan Rix drove home a kill that made the score 20-17, but that would be as close as the Bearcats would get as Armstrong scored the last five points of the match, getting two kills from Amanda Jones and the match-clincher from Brittany Wolf.
Santaniello and Jones each led the Pirates with 11 kills while Wolf and Budd added eight each. Leia Pittman led the defensive effort at the net for Armstrong with two solo blocks and three block assists as the Pirates as a team had 10 blocks in the match. Davis led with 15 digs while Ashley Seal had 33 assists and 14 digs. The Pirates committed only seven attack errors in the match.
Lander was led by Magi Nottingham’s nine kills, followed by Kiki Hennessey with eight and Hannah Dedrick with seven. Madison Kubal had 15 digs while Jessica Register led with 26 assists and 10 digs.