By Jeffrey Howard | firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by Dyann Busse
On Sunday the women’s volleyball team beat their rival Armstrong Atlantic in three straight sets after losing the first, securing another trip to this weekend’s NCAA Division II Southeast Regional.
Armstrong Atlantic’s only two losses of the season came at the hands of Flagler College, and their previous loss to Flagler secured the Saints’ Peach Belt Conference Tournament title and into the regional as the No. 2 seed.
“The win over Armstrong Atlantic was very rewarding,” Casey Gnann said. “It meant so much to the team since we had worked so hard all season. And it was especially rewarding because they (Armstrong Atlantic) had beat us earlier in the season.”
The team (28-6) won its third conference title in a row. Sophie Meyer ended the match with 13 kills and six digs, while Rachel Stacy had nine kills and six digs. Olivia Snipes had a team high 41 assists and Casey Gnann aided the Saints with 29 digs.
“Everything was just clicking with our team,” Dianna Craine said. “We had phenomenal defense, nothing was getting past Casey at all and then Olivia was putting up great sets for our hitters. Everything just worked. We started off a little slow, but once we got going we just clicked.”
Flagler earned the Peach Belt’s automatic qualifier and will play Newberry College on Friday, Nov. 18, in Wingate, N.C. Flagler beat Newberry earlier in the year in a close match that went all five sets.
This could be the last match for Taylor Mott as the Flagler College head volleyball coach. She has coached the Saints for 13 years. Mott announced her resignation, which will be effective at the end of the calendar year. She is going to relocate to Tennessee with her husband, Brian, who has taken a job there.
“I have loved my time at Flagler; this has been one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make but is the best decision for my family,” Mott said.
“We definitely want to win the tournament and have the season go as long as possible not only for us, but for her,” Crystal Niederriter, junior middle blocker for the Saints, said. “We know how much this team means to her and we want her to know we went as far as we could.”