MILLEDGEVILLE, GA – The Flagler Saints were taken the distance by Georgia College, but prevailed 3-2 in the regular-season finale to capture the PBC Championship and the #1 seed in the upcoming tournament. The Saints claim their second-straight regular-season title after being a co-champion with USC Aiken last season. It is the fifth regular-season title for Flagler since 2009.
With the win, the Saints finished 11-1 in league play, taking the #1 seed for the tournament. With that seed, Flagler will get a bye in the quarterfinal round and advance to the semifinals next Saturday. The PBC Tournament begins on Friday with three quarterfinal matches and cumulates with the championship on Sunday.
Flagler has now reeled off 17 consecutive wins, the longest streak since 2009's 29-match run. The Saints had rolled in the first two sets on Sunday, but the Bobcats, as they did at Flagler Gym earlier this year, clawed its way back to force a fifth and deciding set. Flagler had won the previous five five-set matches this year already. The match featured 34 ties and 15 lead changes.
Flagler had match point (14-11) after a Libby Bochniak hitting error. Following a Georgia College timeout, Bochniak redeemed herself with a kill. Then Taja Valmyr and Davis had back-to-back hitting errors to tie the set at 14. Following a Saints timeout, Davis recorded a spike and Valmyr and Raquel Kulak blocked an attempt by Taylor Svehla to secure the win.
Sara Davis finished with a match-high 19 kills and a .425 hitting percentage with only two errors on 40 swings. Karlie Redfern recorded her sixth double-double with 17 kills and a season-high 19 digs. She added four total blocks and three aces to her line. Valmyr notched her 14th double-double of the season with 15 kills and 19 digs. She tied her season-high with five total blocks. Kulak added nine kills and three total blocks while Regan Swift tacked on eight kills. Tara Savisky tallied a career-high 61 assists and added 20 digs for her eighth double-double of the year. Kayla Norelli tied her season-high with 23 digs and she added three aces.
Bochniak led the Bobcats with 16 kills and 20 digs while Ebony Powers added 15 kills, 14 digs and three aces. Emma Boughner contributed 13 kills and five total blocks. Kayla Brockway tallied 51 assists and completed the double-double with 12 digs.
Game times for Friday's quarterfinals have been set and can be seen below. All matches will be played at the Centennial Center on the campus of Georgia College.
The PBC Volleyball Tournament website can be seen here.
2017 Peach Belt Conference
Friday, Nov. 17 - Quarterfinals
#5 Lander vs. #4 Augusta, 1:30 pm
#7 UNC Pembroke vs. #2 USC Aiken, 4:00 pm
#6 Francis Marion vs. #3 Georgia College, 6:30 pm
Saturday, Nov. 18 - Semifinals
4/5 winner vs. #1 Flagler, 2:00 pm
2/7 winner vs. 3/6 winner, 4:30
Sunday, Nov. 19
Championship Match, 2:00