During Augusta State’s previous loss at USC Aiken, senior Meredith Berce said her team changed its game plan.
When the Lady Jaguars trailed the Lady Pacers big in the first set Wednesday night at Christenberry Fieldhouse, Augusta State changed its plan again. This time, it worked.
The Lady Jaguars rallied in the first set and rode the momentum to a 26-24, 25-14, 25-20 victory.
“Because Aiken is such a big rival, we came together as a team and really focused,” said Berce, a defensive specialist. “It’s just great to win against Aiken my senior year at home in three sets. I’m pretty pumped right now.”
USC Aiken (15-9, 4-4 Peach Belt Conference) bested Augusta State in four sets in late September. The defeat came during a six-match losing streak for the Lady Jaguars. Augusta State has bounced back to win five of its past six matches to improve to 12-10 overall, 3-5 in league play.
Against USC Aiken, the Lady Jaguars trailed 15-7 in the first set and seemed on the way to a rout. But Augusta State coach Sharon Bonaventure switched from a two-setter formation to having just Krystin Wahlig running the show. Wahlig responded with a match-high 33 assists and 11 digs.
After the change, Augusta State rallied to win the first set, 26-24.
“Big difference,” Bonaventure said. “Change of the night. It just changed the momentum.”
Jenna Keeler led Augusta State with a match-high .417 hitting percentage and 11 kills. Andria Tagarelli and Collette Richards each posted 13 digs.
The Lady Jaguars bested the Lady Pacers in kills, 41-31. Also, Augusta State won the hitting percentage battle (.184 to .045).
“It’s great to have a front line finally blocking, finally swinging,” Berce said. “The girls on the front line are having a great year and are doing tremendous.”
Ashley Diedrich paced USC Aiken with seven kills. Samantha Lukralle added a team-high 12 digs.