By Gian Louis Thompson | email@example.com
Photo courtesy John Jordan
The Flagler College volleyball team (29-8, 13-1 PBC), No. 1 seed, looks to continue its 22-game winning streak as they take on University of North Carolina Pembroke (11-20, 2-11 PBC), No. 8 seed, in the first round of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament on Friday.
The Saints served up the season with a slow start, suffering four straight losses in their first four games. However, starting with a match against Lander University on the 19th of September, the Saints gained their bearings and embarked on a 22 game winning-steak.
“We started off slow. The potential was always there but we had to take some time to get out confidence. We started to play together,” said head coach Taylor Mott.
The Saints are 2-0 against UNC Pembroke this season and claimed one of those victories on November 6th, just one week prior to the PBC Tournament. The Saints look to continue their success against UNC Pembroke and Mott expects the Braves to leave everything on the court.
“I expect them[UNC Pembroke] to play hard. They’ve got nothing to lose. I expect them to play tough,” Mott said.
Mott said that a culmination of strong team chemistry and excellent passing and serving led them to the two previous victories over UNC Pembroke. The Saints will look to their previous victories as templates for success against Pembroke.
“Our downfall is we can get inconsistent. We need to continue to hit consistently and pass well against them[UNC Pembroke],” Mott said.
As the Saints await the opening serve in the tournament, the excitement of postseason play runs rampant through their heads.
“This is the first time we’ve had a chance to play in a conference tournament the way we know how,” said senior captain Justine Burkhardt.
Success for the Saints shouldn’t be a problem with a team morale and execution that has led them past 22 of their latest foes.
“We just have this way about us ever since our winning steak. It’s just a cool composure,” Burkhardt said.
The Saints expect to face teams that aim to do anything it takes to destroy their spree. Senior captain Becky Hendrian said this is their last shot to prove their worth.
“People just want to take us down. Teams have nothing to lose against us. This is our last shot. If we play our game, we can win,” Hendrian said.
The match is set to ensue at 2 p.m. in Aiken, S.C. at the University of South Carolina Aiken gym.