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Eagles Push Winning Streak to 11, Beat Bears in Five
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|Stats at a Glance||MER||FGCU|
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Florida Gulf Coast University volleyball team won its 11th consecutive match (10th straight Atlantic Sun Conference match) on Friday night, earning a hard-fought 3-2 (24-26, 28-26, 25-20, 18-25, 15-8) decision over Mercer.
The Eagles, who have a two-game lead on second place Lipscomb and sit atop the A-Sun standings, improved to 15-7 overall (10-0 A-Sun), while Mercer fell to 8-13 overall (4-7 A-Sun).
Sophomore Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River HS) hit .433 and registered 15 kills to go with three digs and three blocks. Sophomore Jill Hopper (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown HS) blasted a team-high 16 kills and racked up 18 digs to record her sixth double-double of the season. Junior’s Christine Pinder (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS/Houston/Central Florida CC) and Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS/Marshall) chipped in with 11 kills and 15 digs and 12 kills and two blocks, respectively. Sophomore Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind./Wapahani HS) finished with 15 digs and eight assists, while the setting duo of sophomore Gigi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS) and junior Courtney Greenberg (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS/Juniata College) racked up 51 assists and 23 digs combined.
After the Eagles and Bears played four highly contested sets, the two squads went into the decisive fifth set. A kill by MU’s Molly Locke gave the Bears a 3-2 lead early in the set. The Green and Blue responded with an 8-2 run, highlighted by a trio of Holm kills, to grab a 10-5 advantage. Following another kill by Locke (10-6), Mesner blasted back-to-back kills to give FGCU a 12-6 lead. Leading 13-8 and dominating the set, the Eagles wrapped up the game with a Hopper kill and a Mercer attack error to win the set 15-8 and the match 3-2.
The Green and Blue, who have only lost five sets in conference play this season, won the team dig battle 88-75 and were outhit by the Bears .253 to .257. The Eagles struggled in the first (.170) and fourth (.108) sets of the match, but hit .302, .345 and .455 in sets two, three and five.
FGCU will be back in action Saturday night when they host Kennesaw State (16-10, 5-6 A-Sun) at Alico Arena. First serve is set for 7 p.m.