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Volleyball Sweeps Kennesaw State, 3-0, in A-Sun Conference Opener
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STRACHAN - 10
KENNESAW, Ga. – The Florida Gulf Coast University volleyball team started the 2012 Atlantic Sun Conference regular season on a good note with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-21) win over Kennesaw State on Friday night at the KSU Convocation Center.
“This was a critical win for us tonight,” said head coach Dave Nichols. “We haven’t been playing like we are capable of the last few matches, so it was a great feeling to pick up this win. I’m proud of the girls for pulling it together and showing a lot of character and competing hard against a very good team.”
Senior Brittany Muse (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto County HS) led FGCU (5-7. 1-0 A-Sun) with a season-high 12 kills (.476 hitting percentage). Sophomore Jill Hopper (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown HS) picked up her second double-double of the season (10th of her career) with 11 kills and 12 digs. Junior Christine Pinder (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS/Houston/Central Florida CC) recorded nine kills and 10 digs. Junior Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS/Marshall) chipped in with seven kills and a block, while the setting duo of sophomore Gigi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS) and junior Courtney Greenberg (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS/Juniata College) finished with a combined 41 assists.
The Owls took a 4-3 lead early in game one after an attack error by FGCU. The Eagles responded with a 10-2 run, highlighted by three kills from Muse, to take a 13-6 lead. The Green and Blue continued to dominate the set and after a kill from Hopper sealed the deal, FGCU picked up a 25-18 win in the opening set.
Kennesaw shot out to a 9-5 lead to open the second set. The Eagles bounced back after the slow start with a 12-3 run, highlighted by three kills from Hopper and a pair from Muse, to take a 17-12 lead. KSU responded in a big way, using a run of their own (10-3) to retake the lead, 22-20, and force FGCU to burn a timeout. After the break, the Eagles got a pair of kills from Muse and a block assist from Muse and sophomore Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River HS) to pull ahead 23-22. KSU’s Emily Bean blasted a kill to draw the set even for the eighth time (23-23), but the Green and Blue went on to hold off the Owls and take the game 25-23 after back-to-back kills from Muse and Hopper.
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. A kill by Muse gave the Green and Blue a 21-20 lead and forced KSU to call a timeout. After a kill by the Owls’ Baylee Strachan tied the set again (21-21), the Eagles went on a 4-0 run to win the set (25-21) and the match (3-0).
The Eagles will be back in action Saturday afternoon when they battle Mercer in A-Sun action at 3 p.m.