GREENWOOD – The second-seeded Lander volleyball team fell one match short of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament championship match, as third-seeded Augusta earned a 3-0 win over the Bearcats in the tournament semifinals on Saturday night. The Jaguars defeated Lander 25-23, 25-21, 25-18.
Lander (22-7) will learn its NCAA Tournament fate on Monday night during the NCAA Selection Show. Augusta (23-7) will battle fifth-seeded Georgia College for the conference championship Sunday in Horne Arena at 1:00 p.m.
Augusta built a 15-10 lead in the first set before a pair of kills from Kyra Ross sparked a 6-0 Lander run to give the Bearcats their first lead of the night. The two teams battled to five ties over the next 15 points to make the score 23-23 before the Jaguars ended the set with consecutive kills.
Leading 11-8 in the second set, Lander used a 6-3 run to pull ahead 17-11 before the Bearcats were charged with a rotation error following a lengthy stoppage of play. Augusta seized the momentum out of the break, outscoring the Bearcats 14-4 down the stretch to take a 2-0 lead.
Augusta used one final run in the third set to clinch the match, scoring eight consecutive points to take a 21-14 lead and punch their ticket to the tournament championship for the first time in program history.
Kyra Ross tallied 11 kills and 11 digs for the Bearcats, while Kaitlyn Krafka came one dig shy of her 16th double-double of the season, finishing with 10 kills. Madilyn Reed posted 30 assists and Hannah McManus finished with 15 digs.