Jaguars fall to top seed Tampa in Elite 8 in four sets




ampa, FL– The Augusta University Women’s volleyball team saw their historic season come to an end following a 3-1 loss (25-20, 19-25, 21-25)  to the top-seeded host Tampa in the NCAA Division II Women’s Volleyball Championship Elite Eight at the Bob Martinez Athletics Center.

After defeating the #3, #2, and #1 seed in the Southeast Regional Tournament last Saturday, Augusta could not do the same to the favorite University of Tampa Spartans. The Spartans are ranked 9th in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Top 25 Poll. They advance to the Final Four where they’ll face fifth-seeded Gannon tomorrow at 7:30pm.

Offensively, PBC Player of the Year Chloe Allen  led the Jaguars with 13 kills and 17 digs. Kylie Martin also carded a double-double with 11 kills to go along with 11 digs.Defensively, Holland Martin had 14 digs. Radka Brichackova tallied 6 blocks while Alexis Diaz-Infante had 5 blocks.

Augusta was able to strike first with a big opening kill from Alyssa Frazier. Three consecutive points capped by a kill from Radka Brichackova put AU up 9-6 early in the first set. Tampa was able to tie the match at 11-11. Both teams traded points until back to back kills from the Jaguars and back-to-back errors from gave Augusta a 20-15 lead. A service ace from senior Brooklyn Holthaus brought AU to set point and a monstrous kill by Chloe Allen gave Augusta the 25-20 victory in Set 1.   

A quick swing by Peach Belt Tournament MVP Kylie Martin opened Set 2. The Jaguars were able to extend the lead to 11-8 before Tampa went on a 7-1 run, forcing Coach Quarles’ first timeout of the evening. In the longest rally of the night, a tip from Alyssa took AU to within three but the Jags dropped the second game 25-19.

In Set 3, the Spartans scored the first two points before back-to-back kills from Julie Archer notched the game again. 2 errors by the home team gave AU a slight 2-point edge early in the set. It seemed as if Tampa had taken control of the set with a 5 point lead before setter Ally Thees rattled off five straight points from the service line. A huge block from Diaz-Infante and Brichackova notched the game at 17-17. The Spartans were able to push the lead, hitting a .327 clip in the set and winning 25-21.

Trying to shift the momentum, Augusta claimed the first 2 points of the fourth set. Tampa was able to answer, going on a 4-0 run and forcing a Jaguar timeout. The Spartans took a commanding lead in the final set before AU went on a 9-0 run. Tampa was forced to call a final timeout at 22-18 after yet another service ace by Samantha Zittrauer. AU put up an epic battle in the fourth, but eventually fell 25-20 in the final set.

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