Volleyball suffers first Peach Belt Conference loss against USC Aiken


By Carolina Garcia, Staff Writer

The Armstrong Pirates suffered defeat on Nov. 6 against USC Aiken in the Convocation Center in Aiken, South Carolina.

USC Aiken ended with a 3-0 victory with set scores of: 25-20, 25-22, and 25-22.

This loss ends the 43-match regular season winning streak in the conference for the Pirates, resulting in their first regular season loss in over two years.

Though the Pirates are the Peach Belt Conference’s leading hitting team, they only hit .184 in the match, which is the lowest hitting percentage since a 3-0 loss against Wingate University on September 13.

USC Aiken, on the other hand, led the game hitting .254 for the night.

Senior Stephanie Sfara led the Pirates with 12 kills, and sophomore Emily Wylie followed with 11 kills. Senior Kamryn Sherman clenched 33 assists and 11 digs, and senior Morgan Hill led defense with 12 digs.

Taylor Stratton led USC Aiken with 11 kills, while Hannah Tierney added 10 kills, as well as Ashley Diedrich. Leading in assists, Sheila Walsh notched 35 assists, while Monica Cardona added 11 digs in defense.

On Nov. 7 the Pirates fought back after their tough loss to USC Aiken and closed out the 2014 regular season with a 3-0 conference victory against Lander in Greenwood, South Carolina with set scores of 25-16, 25-21, and 25-19.

With this win, the Pirates end the season 25-2 overall and 17-1 in the Peach Belt Conference. The Pirates also notched their fourth straight league title.

Armstrong started strong with a 10-4 lead in the fourth set. Sophmore Rachel Thompson’s five kills led the Pirates in the first set. Lander fought back in the second set, gaining an early lead of 10-4, but sophomore Kayla Berns had a five-point service run, which tied the set at 19-19. The Pirates scored five of the last seven points, taking the second set. The Pirates easily took the third set, allowing a .077 hitting percentage for Lander.

Thompson led the offense with a .500 hitting percentage, 12 kills, and only one error in 20 attacks. Sophomore Anna McGee notched 10 kills, and senior Kamryn Sherman added 42 assist while senior Morgan Hill led defense with 14 digs.

Armstrong, as the top seed, they hosted the first round game in the Peach Belt Conference on  Nov. 11, against Francis Marion.