Pirate Volleyball dominates PBC Tournament


Pirates Volleyball team
The Pirates Volleyball team, 2014

By Berry Aldridge, Sports Writer

The Armstrong State University women’s volleyball team hit its way to two impressive wins over Montevallo and Flagler last week to win the Peach Belt Conference Tournament title. Although they had already won the PBC regular season championship, the tournament title ensured an automatic bid and outright bragging rights for the Pirates.

After defeating Francis Marion easily in the first round, Armstrong matched up against the Falcons of Montevallo in the semi-final match on Friday, Nov. 14 in the ARC. Armstrong was firing on all cylinders as it put away Montevallo 25-18, 25-9, and 25-15 in straight sets.

Senior Stephanie Sfara delivered a match-high 15 kills to go along with Sophomore Emily Wylie’s 13, while Senior Taylor Permenter and sophomore Anna McGee added six kills apiece as well. Senior Kamryn Sherman gathered an outstanding 38 assists in the contest.

The win advanced Armstrong to the PBC Tournament final on Saturday, Nov. 15 versus the rival Saints of Flagler College. Despite dropping the second set, Armstrong did prevail and beat Flagler three sets to one, and take the PBC Tournament title. Set scores were 25-20, 19-25, 25-23, and 25-23.

It was not an easy victory for the Pirates by any means. Flagler disrupted rhythm and momentum from the second set on and multiple point runs were very hard to come by for either team. The Pirates adopted a “one point at a time” approach and slowly but surely pulled ahead in both of the final two sets.

Sherman, PBC “Setter of the Year,” finished the match with 49 assists en route to being named to the all-tournament team. Armstrong landed another player on the all-tournament team, the PBC Tournament MVP Wylie, who hit .375 and recorded 15 kills in the final match.

Other major contributors for the final were Sfara with 11 kills and 18 digs,  sophomore Rachel Thompson with 10 kills, and senior libero Morgan Hill with 16 digs.

When asked about what it was like to win the title at home, Sherman said, “It was so exciting, especially because we got to have our friends and family be there to celebrate with us.”

Following the win the Pirates had to wait until the next night, Sunday, Nov. 16 to find out where and who they would play as well as what seed they would earn in the regional tournament. According to the NCAA selection committee, the Pirates earned a No. 2 regional seed and will match-up against Lenoir-Rhyne University in Wingate, NC on Thursday, Nov. 20.