The UNCP volleyball team continued conference play on Sept. 16 when they went on the road to face conference foe Augusta. Despite setting season-highs in kills (50) and blocks (12), the Braves lost the match three sets to one.
April Tankersley racked up a season high nine kills to go along with six block assists. Teammates Tyler Fitzpatrick and Aquia Jones were other notable offensive leaders, as Fitzpatrick tallied 10 kills and Jones picked up eight.
Elliot finished with five block assists with Jones had seven for the Braves (2-8, 1-1 PBC). Senior Cayce Bell paced a season high 32 digs. Freshmen setters Miranda Cada and Casey O’Quinn totaled 47 assists.
Tied with the Jaguars (7-4, 1-1) at five in the first set, the Braves went on to score three straight including a kill by Jones and a block assist by Tankersley and Madelyn Ashwell. Not to be outdone by UNCP, the Jaguars took the next three to tie it back at eight and later took an 11-10 lead. After a kill from Fitzpatrick, the Jaguars rallied to claim the next four points to take a 21-16 advantage. Despite a late push from the Braves, the Jaguars held on to win the game 25-21.
The second set was evenly matched, with neither team leading by more than two until back-to-back attack errors by Augusta gave the Braves a 16-13 lead. UNCP stretched its lead to four, after a kill by Tankersley. Augusta surged to earn five of the next six points, tying the score at 23 a piece. Both teams traded scores until the Braves pulled ahead and finished the game with a 28-26 win.
The next two sets ultimately belonged to Augusta despite various comeback attempts by the Braves. After falling behind 11-9 in the third set, a block from Jones and Elliot helped bring the Braves within one. That wasn’t enough to build momentum for UNCP, as they allowed the Jaguars to score the next five points to take a 16-10 advantage. The hosts offset subsequent scores by UNCP to push the Braves’ deficit to 19-13 before registering six consecutive points for the win.
In the fourth, set the Braves went on a 3-0 run on two separate occasions, the second of which closed Augusta’s lead to 15-14. Like the previous game, the Jaguars got the next six points with five kills and one error by the Braves to win 21-14.
It was the second consecutive loss for UNCP. Their schedule was impacted by precautionary measures taken due to the potnetnial impact of Hurricane Irma.
Before they lost in straight sets to Lander on Sept. 15, the Braves had two contests at the FMU Invitational cancelled due to the storm.