Patriots “Dash” past Braves in three sets

FLORENCE, SC – Making her first career start, freshman middleblocker Megan Dash registered 11 kills and a .524 hitting percentage to spark Francis Marion University to a three-set (25-13, 25-22, 25-19) sweep of UNC Pembroke, Friday evening (Nov. 4) in Peach Belt Conference women's volleyball action.

The match was the home finale for the Patriots who win their fourth straight match and up their season record to 15-10.  Francis Marion also moves into sole possession of fourth place in the PBC standings with a 9-7 mark.

FMU will close out its regular-season slate with a pair of road matches next weekend: Nov. 11 at Flagler College and Nov. 12 at Armstrong State University.  The PBC Tournament will follow, Nov. 18-20, in Milledgeville, Ga.

Senior Caroline Boone followed Dash with 10 kills and three blocks.  Junior Erika Hartings and sophomore Georgia Garrison added eight kills apiece.  Garrison also served four aces and dug up 12 balls.

The freshmen FMU specialists also excelled as setter Kaitlyn Ziegelmaier recorded 36 assists and libero Natalie Vaughn 15 digs.

Caroline Pridgen led UNCP (3-26, 0-15) with 10 kills and three blocks.  Setters Bailee Jones (18) and Alicia Paeplow (14) combined for 32 assists, while Cayce Bell tallied a match-high 19 digs.

Dash got the Patriots off to a fast start by compiling seven kills on only seven swings in the opening set.  A 14-3 run by FMU snapped a 6-6 deadlock and propelled Francis Marion to the 25-13 win.

The second set featured nine ties and one lead change.  FMU clung to a 23-22 advantage, but kills by Boone – after a long rally – and Garrison produced a 25-22 victory.  With Vaughn serving, Francis Marion scored the first five points of the third set and never trailed.

The contest was also the final home match for departing FMU head coach Paul MacDonald who is stepping down after 11 seasons on the Patriot bench.

Francis Marion Univ. def. UNC Pembroke 25-13,25-22,25-19


UNC Pembroke (3-26 , 0-15 PBC) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Caroline Pridgen
10-0-3; Makaylah Elliot 7-0-2; Katelynn Leach 7-0-1; Aquia Jones
7-0-2; Alicia Paeplow 2-0-0; Kiara Price 2-0-1; Cayce Bell 1-1-0;
Alexis Hollis 0-1-0; Totals 36-2-5.0. (Assists) - Bailee Jones 18;
Alicia Paeplow 14. (Dig leaders) - Cayce Bell 19; Bailee Jones 7


Francis Marion Univ. (15-10 , 9-7 PBC) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Megan
Dash 11-0-1; Caroline Boone 10-2-3; Erika Hartings 8-1-2; Georgia
Garrison 8-4-0; Kaitlyn Ziegelmaier 2-0-1; Lenee' Blot 1-0-1; Shelbi
Meek 0-1-0; Natalie Vaughn 0-1-0; Totals 40-9-4.0. (Assists) - Kaitlyn
Ziegelmaier 36. (Dig leaders) - Natalie Vaughn 15; Georgia Garrison
12; Erika Hartings 9


Site: Florence, SC (Smith Univ. Center)
Date: Nov 04, 2016   Attend: 104   Time: 1:20
Referees: Kirsten Boessneck, David Mabe, J.Allen/S.Cooper
Liberos: Vaughn (FMU), Heinz (UNCP), Bell (UNCP)