WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Pine Manor women's volleyball team's best season since 2011 ended Friday morning as the No. 6 seed Gators were swept by No. 3 seed Finlandia, 3-0 (25-13, 25-14, 25-21), in the Great South Athletic Conference (GSAC) Quarterfinals.
The Gators finish the 2014 campaign with a 9-18 record and Finlandia improves to 12-27.
Seniors Destiny Mann (Orlando, Fla.) and Natasia Franklin (Windsor, Conn.) each had four kills to lead the team. Mann also had a team-high 11 digs and freshman Ashley Whiteshield (Seward, Alaska) handed out 13 assists.
Freshman Devin Bristley (Onaway, Mich.) and senior Augustine Brutus (Port Saint Lucie, Fla.) led the attack for the Lions, recording nine and eight kills respectively. First-years Anaya Merriweather (Highland Park, Mich.) and Kellie Maddox (Tucson, Ariz.) each had double-digit digs with 19 and 10 respectively. Fellow freshman Emma Nelson (Cape Coral, Fla.) collected 30 assists in the victory.
The first set was all Lions from the get-go as they won 17 of the first 21 points. The Gators would get within eight thanks to an 8-3 run late, but it wouldn't be enough to overcome the early deficit.
The second set was more of the same as Finlandia got out to a 17-5 lead sparked by a 5-0 run to open the set. Pine Manor managed to shave the lead down to eight again, but still fell 25-14.
Refusing to go quietly, the Gators played their best set of the match in set number three. After falling behind 10-6, Pine Manor won six of the next eight points to draw even at 12. PMC would then take advantage of three attack errors by Heather Hoogewind (Grand Rapids, Mich.) to take a 16-14 lead.
However, they were unable to extend the gap as the Lions went on an 8-1 run to go up 22-17 and eventually win the final set 25-21.
Finlandia will play in the GSAC Semifinal against No. 2 seed Agnes Scott on Saturday at 3 p.m. The winner of that match will play in the GSAC Championship match at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.