SAVANNAH, Ga. - The visiting Flagler College volleyball squad fought off six straight match points in the fifth set to come back and take a 3-2 Peach Belt Conference victory over host Armstrong State University on Wednesday evening in Savannah. Set scores were: 31-29, 25-17, 18-25, 17-25, 17-15.
Flagler improves to 12-6 overall and 8-2 in the PBC with the win, while Armstrong State falls to 16-4 overall and 6-3 in the league with the loss. The Pirates return to action on Friday, November 28th, hosting Columbus State in a Peach Belt Conference match at 7:00 p.m. at the PAC.
The match was the first played at home for the Pirates in more than a month due to the onset of Hurricane Matthew. Armstrong State had six chances to take the first set from the Saints, but Flagler eventually would win the set with three straight points - two coming on kills from Sara Davis and Taja Valmyr - for the 31-29 win.
Flagler hit .400 in an impressive set two to take a two sets to one lead, but Armstrong State came back, hitting .324 in the third set and .325 in the fourth set to even the match up at two sets apiece.
The Saints jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the fifth and final set, but Armstrong State stormed back by scoring 12 of the next 14 points to take a 13-7 lead. Megan Hooks' kill ended the run for Flagler, but freshman Autumn Mayo's kill made it 14-8 for Armstrong State, giving the Pirates six match points.
With Hooks serving, Ashley Cheewah and Jenea Reddick registered back-to-back kills, then a ball handling error and a service ace made the score 14-12. After a time out taken by the Pirates, another kill by Cheewah, then a hitting error tied the score at 14-all. Flagler got a service ace to take a 15-14 lead, but senior Kim Brody's kill evened things back up at 15-all.
A service error and an attack error by the Pirates finished off the improbable comeback as Flagler would take the win 17-15 in the fifth set.
The Pirates were led by sophomore Raegan Grooms' career-high 22 kills, hitting .392 for the match. She had previously had 16 kills in a match, set twice this season. Brody notched 16 kills and Mayo - making her first collegiate start - had 10 kills. Sophomore Carley Eiken delivered a career-hihg 60 assists while junior Iva Scepanovic notched 29 digs. Rachel Thompson and Raquel Kulak had six blocks apiece.
Flagler was led by Sara Davis' 21 kills and .312 hitting percentage, while Taja Valmyr had 16 kills - 13 in the first two sets - with Hooks finishing hte match with 11 kills. Tara Savisky notched 51 assists and 22 digs, while Kayla Norelli also had 22 digs.