AIKEN, S.C. – The fourth-seeded Lander volleyball team trailed fifth-seeded Francis Marion 2-1 in the Peach Belt Tournament, but the Bearcats rallied to secure a 3-2 win and a berth in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament semifinals on Saturday.
Lander (20-9) advances to face top-seeded Flagler Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. Francis Marion (18-14) fell to the Bearcats for the first time in four meetings at the PBC Tournament.
The Bearcats staved off a pair of set points in set one before back-to-back kills from Hannah Hritz gave Lander a 31-29 set victory. However, the Patriots stormed back to take sets two and three and buil a 2-1 advantage in the match.
With their backs to the fall in the fourth set, Lander built a 22-20 lead and pulled away with three consecutive points to force a fifth and decisive set. In the fifth set, deadlocked at 11-11, Maddie Reed delivered a crucial kill to give the Bearcats the lead. An error from FMU and a Kyra Ross kill put Lander at match point and Boo Luther iced the match with an ace to send the Bearcats to the semifinals.
Ross tallied 25 kills and 20 digs, while Madilyn Reed posted 60 assists and 16 digs. Hritz finished with 17 kills, while Reilly Kuenstler added 14 and Maya Walker posted 11. Hannah McManus recorded 29 digs, while Luther finished with 19.
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