Francis Marion stuns first-place Pirates 3-0

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.

Junior Carlie Smith followed Boone with nine kills and eight digs, while senior Alexzandra Reed added eight kills.  Boone, Reed, and sophomore Kadeeja Griffin all tallied three blocks.

Junior setter Samantha Hinrichs led FMU with 18 assists in only 39 sets, while freshman setter Carrie McGinnis handed out 11 assists.

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)