MILLEDGEVILLE, GA – Despite a career-high-equaling 14 kills from senior Shelbi Meek, Francis Marion University suffered a season-ending 25-23, 25-20, 20-25, 25-19 loss to Georgia College, Friday night (Nov. 17) in the quarterfinals of the Peach Belt Conference Volleyball Tournament.
Under the direction of first-year head coach Lauren Baufield, the young Patriots squad finished the year with a 9-18 record. Seven of the team's 13 members are freshmen, and only two (Meek and Erika Hartings) are seniors.
Interestingly, Meek's kill total equaled her total in each of the two regular-season matches against the Bobcats. Meek also dug up 13 balls to register one of two Patriot double-doubles. FMU junior Georgia Garrison tallied 12 kills and 18 digs, while freshman Kayla Arthur had seven kills.
FMU setters Carrie McGinnis (22) and Tori Carpenter (21) combined for 43 assists, while freshman libero Natalie Ferrell recorded a career-high 20 digs. Patriot middle blockers Cortney Bowen (8) and Lenee' Blot (7) combined for 15 total blocks.
Ebony Powers led Georgia College (22-6) with 20 kills and 13 digs.
FMU dropped the first two sets in hard-fought fashion. The two sets featured 21 ties and 12 lead changes. In the opening set, FMU led 10-5 only to have Georgia College run off six straight points to lead 11-10. The Patriot later led 22-21, but the Bobcats tallied four of the next five points to capture a 25-23 win.
In the second set, Francis Marion held a 14-11 advantage and later an 18-16 margin. Georgia College responded with a 6-0 run to take the lead for good and finished the set with a 9-2 spurt to claim a 25-20 victory.
The Patriots battled back in set three. FMU raced to a 19-11 lead, but Georgia College ran off five consecutive points to pull within 19-16. The Bobcats later closed to within two points on three occasions, the final time at 22-20, but Francis Marion stayed alive by recording the final three points of a 25-20 win. Garrison helped key the Patriot comeback with five kills in the third set.
FMU held an 8-4 lead in set four before the Bobcats rallied to take the lead for good at 14-13.
Georgia College def. Francis Marion Univ. 25-23,25-20,20-25,25-19
Francis Marion Univ. (9-18) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Shelbi Meek 14-2-2;
Georgia Garrison 12-0-5; Kayla Arthur 7-0-1; Erika Hartings 5-0-5;
Lenee' Blot 5-0-7; Cortney Bowen 4-0-8; Carrie McGinnis 1-0-0; Tori
Carpenter 1-0-0; Totals 49-2-15.0. (Assists) - Carrie McGinnis 22;
Tori Carpenter 21. (Dig leaders) - Natalie Ferrell 20; Georgia
Garrison 18; Shelbi Meek 13; Carrie McGinnis 9
Georgia College (22-6) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Ebony Powers 20-0-2;
Libby Bochniak 12-0-0; Emily Crowell 8-0-1; Emma Boughner 7-0-3;
Taylor Svehla 6-2-1; Kayla Brockway 1-1-1; Chandler Ewaldsen 0-1-0;
Totals 54-4-5.0. (Assists) - Kayla Brockway 51. (Dig leaders) -
Chandler Ewaldsen 20; Libby Bochniak 17; Ebony Powers 13; Jordyn
Moellering 8; Kayla Brockway 8
Site: Milledgeville, Ga. (Centennial Center)
Date: Nov 17, 2017 Attend: 271 Time: 1:43
Referees: Kim Wishum, Scott Lowery
PBC Tournament First Round