AUGUSTA, Ga. – The University of South Carolina Aiken volleyball team fought from behind several times and were able to endure through long sets to defeat the Jaguars of rival Augusta State 3-2 in a tough Peach Belt Conference match at Christenberry Fieldhouse.
Augusta State claimed the first set 25-19 before USC Aiken was able to get going to take the second set 25-18. ASU claimed the third game 25-19 and appeared to be on their way to claiming the match in four sets with a 24-22 lead when USC Aiken fought hard from behind to take the fourth set 26-24 to send the match into the fifth set. The Pacers had to come from behind once again 14-12 to tie the set at 14-14 and again at 16-16 before they were able to nudge out the win at 18 -16.
USC Aiken is now an even 7-7 overall and is 4-3 in league action after the win while Augusta State finds themselves 5-10 and 2-4 in the tough PBC.
Three Pacers recorded double-digit kills in the contest with sophomore slugger Shannon Byers (Morristown, Minn./Faribault) knocking down a team-high and game-tying high 16 kills in the match and was just two digs away from recording a double-double with eight digs. Freshman lefty Emily Maassen (Ellisville, Mo./Marquette) recorded a career-best 14 kills while Megan Disney (Knoxville, Tenn./Karns) added 11 kills of her own. Junior Jessica Loper (McDonough, Ga./Eagles Landing) and freshman Leah Rodgers (Longwood, Fla./Lake Mary) both recorded eight kills in the five-set match.
Samantha Lukralle (Lindenhurst, N.Y./Lindenhurst) led the Pacer back row with a season-high 40 digs while fellow sophomore Ashley Farwell (Wake Forest, N.C./Wake Forest-Rolesville) recorded a double-double with a season-high 44 assists and 12 digs.
Augusta State's Tarah Childress tied the match-high for kills at 16 while Jaguar libero Andria Tagarelli led the Jaguar defense with 23 digs.
USC Aiken will now open the month of October on Friday, Oct. 2 when they will welcome the Indians of region foe Catawba. The important region match will serve as the Pacers' Flashback Friday in the SAC Gym, formerly known as the Courthouse and is slated to begin at 7 p.m.