Tirae Stevens, Staff Writer
The Armstrong State volleyball team picked up two Peach Belt Conference wins this weekend, improving to 4-0 in the conference and 14-1 overall. They also extended their current win streak to 10 matches, which is the first time this has been done since the 2014 season.
On Friday, September 30, the Pirates traveled to the University of Montevallo to face the Falcons. Armstrong State took the match and claimed a 3-0 victory over the Falcons. Set scores were 25-19, 25-20, 25-21. Sophomore Raquel Kulak led the offense that night for the Pirates, racking up 11 kills out of 14 attempts with a .786 hitting percentage. Sophomore Raegan Grooms added 11 kills of her own, and sophomore Carley Eiken tallied 38 assists. Junior Iva Scepanovic provided 11 digs to fuel the Pirates’ defense.
The win against Montevallo allowed Armstrong head coach Will Condon to reach an important milestone: his 400th career win as a head coach. He is now 401-157 overall. Kim Brody, a senior outside hitter who is now playing her fifth season under Coach Condon, had this to say about his achievement: “We were all so happy for Coach Will and his 400th win and it’s been great being a part of that for these past four, going on five, seasons. Overall, what Will has achieved here at Armstrong is an amazing accomplishment.”
Armstrong then traveled to Columbus State University on October 1 for a match against the Cougars. Columbus State struck early, starting the first set with an 8-2 lead and carrying that momentum to a 25-22 win. Armstrong State battled back in the second set, leading up to a 23-all situation. The Pirates took advantage of errors on the part of the Cougars to take the second set 25-23.
Another deadlock came in the third set, where the Pirates found themselves in a 19-19 tie with the Cougars. However, Armstrong picked up six of the final seven points of the set to take the 2-1 lead with a score of 25-20. Strong offense from sophomore Raegan Grooms, who scored eight straight points for Armstrong State, allowed the Pirates to take the fourth set 25-14— as well as the match, with an overall score of 3-1.
Sophomore Raquel Kulak once again led the Lady Pirates in scoring, picking up 13 kills and four blocks. Senior Rachel Thompson added a season-high 12 kills, and Grooms tallied 12 kills and 22 digs.
“This weekend I think we really learned to push through [road game adversity] and we came out with two great conference wins,” Kulak said about the weekend’s successes. “When certain points weren’t in our favor, we learned to move on to the next point and I think that really shows what our mentality will be like for the rest of the season.”
Armstrong went back on the road to St. Augustine, Florida, to play the Flagler Saints— who were last season’s Peach Belt Conference tournament champions. They will return home Friday, Oct. 7, to host the Bobcats of Georgia College.