Caleb Bailey, Sports Editor
The Armstrong State Volleyball team headed to Flagler, Florida to take part in the 2016 Flagler Classic over the weekend and on Friday, Sept. 9, they suffered their first loss of the season. The team also won three matches, upping their shutout total to five on the year.
The Pirates opened the Classic with a 3-0 win over Limestone in the first match on Friday. They were led by junior Iva Scepanovic with 12 digs and sophomore Reagan Grooms’s 13 kills.
Armstrong won their three matches over Limestone 25-19, 25-13 and 25-11 in dominating fashion. It was a different story when they faced off against a perennial NCAA Tournament team later in the day.
They could not, however, take their momentum in the second match-up of the day as they faced off against the Wingate Bulldogs. Their opponents were led by Abby Saehler, who finished with 17 kills as the Bulldogs moved on to a 3-1 set advantage over the Pirates.
Armstrong State turned their luck around on Saturday, Sept. 10 as they pulled off two more shutout victories over King University and Erskine. They won by an average of six points in each set against their former opponents and then pulled out an 11-point win in their final set over Erskine.
The Pirates are now 5-1 on the season and inching closer towards the start of Peach Belt Conference play. They will use these early-season tournaments to prepare for tough competition down the line this year.
“We know that with the conference schedule approaching, we need to use this last tournament weekend as an opportunity to better ourselves,” Grooms said. “Our team works hard and we know that we have to continue with the effort everyday in practice to be successful in the upcoming matches.”
Grooms finished the weekend with a total of 46 kills and 31 digs. She led the team with 12 of each statistic against King Saturday morning.
The Pirates will now compete in the final early-season tournament of the year this weekend. They travel to compete in the Urbana Fall Invitational in Urbana, Ohio.
They will face off against Urbana University and Shepherd on Friday, Sept. 16 and then Kutztown and Malone on Saturday, Sept. 17. They return to Savannah for their home opener on Friday, Sept. 23, which will be Poster Giveaway Night at the PAC against USC-Aiken.