The Lady Cougars closed out their regular season in PBC volleyball action at Francis Marion. CSU was victorious over the Patriots in five sets, improving to a record of 20-10 and 12-6 in the Peach Belt. FMU fell to 21-8 and 12-6 in the conference.
The two exchanged points in a tight first game with FMU having a slight edge throughout but never leading by more than three points. Katie Poole amassed eight kills in the effort that the Patriots took 25-22. In another close contest, CSU had a small advantage in the second set and pulled out to a 14-8 lead. FMU was only able scramble back within two points at the 16-14 mark but the Lady Cougars put together a 9-2 run to take the second set 25-16. The Patriots were limited to an attack percentage of -.083 in the segment.
CSU exploded in the third game, marching out to an incredible 15-2 lead with 11 unanswered points and 10 kills. Francis Marion was unable to come back and the Lady Cougars cinched the convincing 25-13 win for a two-game nod. Columbus State posted a .379 hitting percentage and FMU was an even .000 and had only five kills.
The Patriots answered by starting off the fourth set going up 14-7 on the Lady Cougars. FMU maintained their control and went on to take the set 25-10. CSU was not discouraged going into the fifth and final game. Columbus State gained a 7-5 lead and steadily moved forward for a 15-12 win. The Lady Cougars are 9-2 in five-set matches.
"It was a great win for us," said CSU head coach Casey Cornett. "I am really proud of the girls for continuing to improve and grow as a team. Francis Marion is a strong sqaud and it was important that we served tough and played strong defense in order to beat them."
Poole, a junior outside hitter, led the Lady Cougars on offense and posted a double-double of 19 kills and 14 digs. Freshman outside hitter Erika Gelzinyte also had a double-double with 14 kills and 19 digs, and freshman libero Taylor Ray had a team-high 21 digs.
Alexandra Reed led FMU's attack with 15 kills. Rebekah Davis led the backcourt defense for the Patriots with 19 digs. Francis Marion ended the match with a .098 hitting percentage.