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BABSON PARK, Fla.— The Fire volleyball team dropped their Sun Conference semifinal matchup with the College of Coastal Georgia Mariners by a score of 3-1 on Friday afternoon. With the defeat, Southeastern was eliminated from the postseason, despite finishing the year with an impressive 23-4 record.
SEU started the match off on the right foot, claiming the opening set 25-22. In the frame, Hannah Kaszubowski and Emily Boehlein each had three kills as Southeastern boasted only six attack errors in the set. The duo concluded the game with seven kills each.
From that point, the match began to slip away from the Fire, who were outhit .198 to .088 by Coastal. The Mariners stole the second frame 27-25 before using the momentum to go up 2-1 after the third set. CCGA played near perfect volleyball in the third and fourth sets, hitting .469 and .357, respectively.
Southeastern tried to stay in the match through efficient digging and blocking, but were unable to rally enough to force a fifth set. Five different SEU players recorded at least ten digs on the day, while the Fire registered 12 blocks to CCGA’s seven.
Keniah Rivera Santiago, who ranks 17th in the country in digs per set (5.7), led the Fire with 22 digs. The senior captained the back line by notching her 22nd consecutive game with a double-digit dig total.
Taylor Gregory and Emily Kalmink led the defensive charge at the net. Gregory stuffed a match-high seven attack attempts and Kalmink, the eighth-best blocker in the nation, notched five. Kalmink added an impressive team-high ten kills on offense.
Senior Avery Bradshaw contributed with eight kills, 12 digs, three assists and a pair of blocks in her last contest with the Fire.
The 23 wins in a year matched the total put up by last year’s squad; however, the Fire’s .852 win percentage is the highest in program history. SEU also set a new program record with 14 conference victories in the regular season.