Falcons outlast Jaguars in conference match


AUGUSTA, Ga. – The University of Montevallo volleyball team got off to a fast start and held on in the end for a 3-2 win on the road over Augusta State University in a Peach Belt Conference match Oct. 23.

The Falcons won the first two sets in the match 25-14, 25-19 before dropping the next two sets 25-19, 25-16. Montevallo edged the Jaguars 15-12 in the fifth set to clinch the match 3-2.

Junior Manyi Ati led the Falcons (11-12 overall, 3-5 in Peach Belt Conference) with a career-high 23 kills in the victory. Ati, who posted a .476 attacking percentage, also contributed seven digs.

Sophomore Michelle Walker added 16 kills in the win. Junior Michelle Carle and freshman Rebekah Phelps recorded nine digs each.

Freshman Briana Marquez chipped in four kills to go along with five service aces, four digs and a career-high 45 assists.

Junior Kaleigh Harvey led the Falcons with 28 digs in the match.

The Falcons raced out to a commanding lead early in the first set, with Marquez setting up a kill by Phelps to give Montevallo a 10-2 lead. The Jaguars closed the gap to five points midway through the set before Ati contributed two kills and a service ace in a 5-1 run down the stretch to help the Falcons to clinch a 25-14 win in the first set.

Walker led the Falcons with six kills in the opening set, while Ati posted five kills. Montevallo finished with an impressive .640 attacking percentage in the first set.

The Jaguars battled back and kept the margin closer in the second set, but a series of impressive plays down the stretch helped Montevallo grab a 25-19 win in the set. A one-handed dig by freshman Jessica Falletta led to a subsequent kill by Walker for a point late in the set before Carle hammered a ball for a kill to clinch the set for the Falcons.

After dropping the next two sets, the Falcons trailed 8-7 in the final set before back-to-back kills by Ati sparked Montevallo to a 8-4 run down the stretch to clinch the 15-12 win in the set.

The Falcons return to action Oct. 26 with a match on the road at Peach Belt Conference foe USC Aiken at 6 p.m.