Trio of Double Doubles Leads Volleyball to 3-1 Win Over FAMU in Season Opener
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|Stats at a Glance||FAMU||FGCU|
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University volleyball team started the 2012 season on a good note with a 3-1 (25-17, 31-29, 23-25, 25-14) win over FAMU on Friday night at the Florida Tournament at the O'Connell Center.
Junior Christine Pinder (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS/Houston/Central Florida CC) led FGCU (1-0 overall) with 16 kills (.393 hitting percentage) and 11 digs in her first career match as an Eagle. Sophomores Gigi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS) and Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind./Wapahani HS) both registered double doubles with 25 assists and 10 digs and 11 assists and 17 digs, respectively. Sophomore Jill Hopper (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown HS) finished with 11 kills and nine digs. Senior Brittany Muse (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto County HS) and sophomore Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River HS) each recorded nine kills, while junior Karina Mambuca (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast HS/Southeastern) chipped in with three kills and a match-high seven blocks.
The Eagles took a 13-8 lead early in game one after a kill by Pinder. The Lady Rattlers (0-1) battled back to get within on three points (17-14) after a Green and Blue attack error, but the Eagles used an 8-3 run, highlighted by kills from Hopper, Muse and Pinder, to win the set 25-17.
FAMU jumped out to an 11-5 lead in game two, thanks to three service aces from Karol Marquez. The Eagles would not fold and after back-to-back kills from Hopper and Mesner cut the Rattlers advantage to 23-21, FAMU was forced to burn a timeout. A 4-2 run by FGCU evened the score at 25-25. Trailing 29-28, the Green and Blue got kills from Hopper and Mesner and a FAMU attack error to pick up the 31-29 win and take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match. The Eagles hit .400 in the second game compared to FAMU’s .225.
The third set was a back and forth battle as the teams fought to a 20-20 tie after an Eagle attack error drew the game even for the sixth time. Back-to-back errors by FGCU (22-20) led coach Dave Nichols to call a timeout. Facing set point, Pinder blasted a kill and the Green and Blue forced an attack error by the Lady Rattlers to pull within one point (24-23), but the FAMU was able to hold off the Eagles and take the game 25-23.
Hopper tallied three kills and a pair of aces as she led the Eagles to a dominating 25-14 victory in the fourth set. FGCU jumped out to a quick 20-9 lead after a kill from Hopper. FAMU used a 4-2 run to cut the Green and Blue’s lead to 22-13, but the Eagles scored three of the next four points in the set to take to game 25-14 and win the match 3-1.
The Eagles complete play at the Florida Tournament with a pair of matches Saturday. They will take on FIU at 10 a.m. and wrap up the tournament against tournament host No. 18 Florida at 7:30 p.m. Live stats for both matches can be found at GatorZone.com. Live video and audio for the FGCU’s matchup with the No. 18 Gators will be available, at a minimal cost, via GatorVision.TV.
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