FLORENCE, SC – Junior middleblocker Caroline Boone hit .500 with a team-high 11 kills and Francis Marion University led nearly wire-to-wire in claiming a three-set sweep (25-20, 25-16, 25-19) of first-place Armstrong State University, Saturday afternoon (Oct. 24) in Peach Belt Conference women's volleyball action.
Francis Marion improved to 13-10 overall and again evened its conference record at 6-6 as the Patriots rebounded from a tough five-set loss to Flagler College on Friday evening. The Saturday win snapped a 16-match losing skid to Armstrong State that dated back to the 2008 season. It was also only the Pirates' third 3-0 loss in conference play over the past five seasons.
FMU will at Lander University on Wednesday with a 7 p.m. first serve.
Armstrong State was led by four players with seven kills each: Rachel Thompson, Anna McGee, Raquel Kulak, and Emily Wylie. The Pirates setting tandem of Kristi Vaughn and Carley Eiken combined for 26 assists – with each registering 13 helpers. Raegan Grooms led the Pirates defensively with eight digs.
Francis Marion scored the opening three points in all three sets – and the opening four in the third and final set. Armstrong State led only once, at 17-16 in the opening set, but FMU closed the set with a 9-3 run that included two kills apiece from Smith and freshman Georgia Garrison.
FMU took a 9-1 advantage to open the second set. The Pirates did close to within 16-13, but the Patriots recovered by scoring nine of the next 12 points for a 25-16 decision. Although Francis Marion never trailed in the third set, the score remained close until a late Patriots' run. Holding a 15-14 advantage, FMU used a 7-1 spurt to take a commanding 22-15 lead. Reed punctuated the run with a pair of service aces.
For the match, Francis Marion hit .314 as a team, while holding the Pirates to a .116 mark.
Francis Marion Univ. def. Armstrong State 25-20,25-16,25-19
Armstrong State (12-7 , 8-3 PBC) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Raquel Kulak
7-0-2; Rachel Thompson 7-0-1; Anna McGee 7-0-1; Emily Wylie 7-0-0;
Madison Sox 3-0-1; Raegan Grooms 2-1-0; Kim Brody 1-0-0; Iva
Scepanovic 0-1-0; Brittany Hereth 0-1-0; Kristi Vaughn 0-1-0; Totals
34-4-3.0. (Assists) - Carley Eiken 13; Kristi Vaughn 13. (Dig leaders)
- Raegan Grooms 8; Iva Scepanovic 5
Francis Marion Univ. (13-10 , 6-6 PBC) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Caroline
Boone 11-2-3; Carlie Smith 9-1-1; Alexzandra Reed 8-2-3; Georgia
Garrison 4-2-1; Kadeeja Griffin 3-0-3; Samantha Hinrichs 3-0-1; Emily
Stanley 0-2-0; Totals 38-9-7.0. (Assists) - Samantha Hinrichs 18;
Carrie McGinnis 11. (Dig leaders) - Carlie Smith 8; Alexzandra Reed 7
Site: Florence, SC (Smith Univ. Center)
Date: Oct 24, 2015 Attend: 65 Time: 1:14
Referees: Steve Truckenbrod, Darryl Buck, L.Carpenter,P.Poston
Liberos: Meek (FMU), Scepanovic (ASU) and Chandler (ASU)