Last weekend brought the Flagler College Lady Saints volleyball team back home for the first time in September and they made it worth the wait.
The Lady Saints didn’t lose a game and rarely trailed en route to sweeps of St. Thomas on Friday and Florida Memorial on Saturday in Flagler Gym.
In Friday’s match, Justine Burkhardt led the offense, racking up 14 kills. Burkhardt also tallied 8 digs while Sarah Spraggins led the defense with 11 digs. Audrey Hippensteel continued her strong play in the absence of senior Carrie Arnette with 25 assists in the 3-0 victory.
In Saturday’s contest, the Lady Saints jumped out on top of the Florida Memorial Lady Lions 18-0 before the Lady Lions even had a serve. The Flagler cruised to a first game victory 30-4.
The Lady Saints led start to finish in the second game as well, taking it 30-20 and making it possible for coach Taylor Mott to get some of her subs in during the third game.
“We always look for an opportunity to get them some experience,” Mott said after the game. “It’s nice to have a match like this where we can get them in and get them some experience.”
The Lady Saints trailed several times during the third game. but pulled away after trailing 11-10. Ten unanswered points by Flagler seemed to deflate FMU as Mott brought some of her top players back in to kill a Lady Lions’ rally.
“When you play teams like this, it is important that other players get game time,” sophomore middle blocker Leah Melton said. “We always want to win in three against these teams so you give everyone a chance to play, but do what you have to do to win in three.”
The Lady Saints finished the game with a 30-20 victory to sweep the match. Melton, Burkhardt and Liz Moyer each had 8 kills and Moyer had 7 digs to lead the defense. The win extended Flagler’s winning streak to 5 games.
“I felt like we had more intensity in (Friday) night’s game,” Melton said. “I don’t know if it was because we had all of our students and a bigger fan base or because today, you normally play down to the level of your competition. We still came out here and won in three, which is what we wanted to do and was important. I think we played well, but we could definitely play better.”
The Lady Saints moved to 12-5 on the season and take on NCAA Div. I Stetson University on Friday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m. in Flagler Gym.
“Every time we step out on the floor in a match situation it gives us a bit more confidence,” Mott said. “We’re a young team so the more we play, the better we’re going to be.”