Ragland's Big Night Puts Sailfish Back in Title Match
December 2, 2016
Written By: TJ Budd, Sports Information Director
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Palm Beach Atlantic moved into the South Region Championship match for the third straight year, defeating West Florida 3-1 (22-25, 25-17, 25-12, 27-25) on Friday night in the semifinals.
The Sailfish got 15 kills from Sarah Ragland as the junior middle blocker hit .636 in the match as the ‘Fish bounced back from dropping set one to win the final three. The Argonauts hit .286 in that first set and held PBA to .119 but the ‘Fish responded to hit .379 and .333 in the next two sets, taking control of the match.
Freshman Olivia Finckel picked up nine kills on the night, hitting .471 as the Sailfish used the middles and right side attacks to keep West Florida off balance. Emma Ballantyne added nine kills of her own and a .421 attack to the offense for the Sailfish. The Sailfish hit .292 for the match while West Florida came in at .204.
Molly Burkhardt was able to spearhead the attack for the Sailfish with 43 assists and added three blocks. The Sailfish had eight blocks as a team with Ballantyne leading the way with five blocks. Susie Forbes collected 16 digs to lead the way with Rohn adding 13.
PBA took control of the match in the third set as they opened up the set on an 11-0 run to take a 12-2 lead. Rohn served 10 straight for the Sailfish with four of her five aces coming during the run. Later in the fourth the ‘Fish took a 23-20 lead but after a timeout the Argos scored three straight to put the pressure back on the Sailfish. After not being able to convert on their first two match points, the ‘Fish converted on their third as Ragland and Finckel stuffed Corisha Smith to end the match.
The Sailfish will meet Florida Southern in the championship match for the second straight year. The Mocs knocked off Tampa 3-0 earlier on Friday night to secure their bid. PBA took down FSC in last year’s championship match 3-1.
Saturday’s championship match is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. with the winner advancing to the Elite Eight in Sioux Falls, S.D. beginning on Dec. 8.