GREENWOOD – The Lander volleyball team rallied from a 2-1 deficit to defeat Augusta, 3-2, on Saturday afternoon and clinch the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Peach Belt Conference Tournament.
Lander (22-6, 8-4 PBC) is the second-seed in the tournament for just the second time in program history. Augusta (21-7, 7-5 PBC) will be the No. 3 seed.
The Bearcats rolled through set one, taking a 14-3 lead and never looking back en route to a quick first point. Augusta took control of a back-and-forth second set late and held a 24-16 before the Bearcats rattled off four consecutive points to pull within 24-20. However, the Jaguars scored the final point to even the match.
Augusta stormed out to an 8-2 lead in the third set, but Lander rallied, highlighted by a pair of blocks from Kaitlyn Krafka, Reilly Kuenstler and Madilyn Reed, to knot the score at 10-10. The two teams battled to ties at 17-17 and 19-19 before the Jaguars pulled away late to take a 2-1 lead.
Trailing 24-23 in the fourth set, Lander staved off match point with a kill from Krafka. The Bearcats earned three match points of their own before Hannah Hritz landed a kill to give Lander the point and send the match to a fifth set.
Lander never trailed in the fifth set and ended the match on a 6-1 run.
The Bearcats will host the PBC Tournament on Nov. 10-11 in Finis Horne Arena.