PBC Volleyball: Flagler Earns Berth in Championship Match with Sweep of UNC Pembroke
AUGUSTA, GA – The Flagler Saints will play for their third consecutive PBC Tournament title after defeating UNC Pembroke 3-0 in the semifinal round at the Christenberry Fieldhouse in Augusta on Saturday. The Saints dominated the first and third sets and rallied late in the second, match scores were 25-16, 27-25 and 25-12. With the win, Flagler improves to 27-6 overall while UNC Pembroke sees their season come to a close with a 16-16 mark. Flagler has now won all eight PBC Tournament matches they have played in since joining the PBC in 2009.
The Saints started the match with a nearly flawless first set, hitting .576 as a team with only one attack error in 33 attempts. Flagler led 7-2 in the first before UNC Pembroke was able to put two on the board, but Flagler answered with a 9-1 run and led 17-5. Dianna Craine had four kills in a 13-point stretch as Flagler increased the lead to as much as 22-10.
UNC Pembroke rallied back and came out swinging in the second set, leading 7-3 in the early going. The Braves led 9-5 before Flagler put five straight points on the board, four coming on the serve of Emilee Taylor. The Braves did not help themselves much, hitting .080 in the second with eight attack errors. Nevertheless, UNCP got a Heather Bolwerk kill following a Flagler attack error and led 13-10 and again 14-17 after a Rebecca Morgan kill.
The Braves maintained that three-point cushion until they were two points away from taking the second set 23-20, but Flagler answered with kills from Craine, Taylor and Rachel Stacy to tie the score at 23. The two teams traded points and were tied at 25 when Flagler took the set with kills from Craine and Sophie Meyer.
The second-set loss seemed to deflate the Braves, who hit -.027 in the third set as Flagler took the match. UNCP led 5-4 in the third when Flagler went on an epic run, scoring 12 of the next 14 points for a commanding 16-8 lead. Six of those points were given to Flagler from UNCP errors. The Braves had only six kills on 37 attacks in third as Meyer had three kills for Flagler in the final five points to win the set and the match.
Meyer led the Saints with 15 kills with only one error in 27 attacks for a .519 hitting percentage. Craine added 13 kills and 13 digs while Taylor had nine kills and 12 digs. Casey Gnann led the Saints with 22 digs while Olivia Snipes had 46 assists and 10 digs.
Shay Peterson led UNCP with seven kills while Tricia Varno added six and Rebecca Morgan five. Marissa Baker had 17 digs for the Braves while Ashlyn Rebok added 25 assists and nine digs.
Flagler will face either Armstrong Atlantic State or Augusta State in Sunday’s championship game at 2:00 pm.