Volleyball Team Pulls Near Upset at Florida Southern
LAKELAND, FL – In its first match against a nationally-ranked opponent, the Florida Gulf Coast University volleyball team nearly pulled off an improbable upset of No. 24 Florida Southern at the Jenkins Field House Tuesday night.
The Eagles captured the first two games, but couldn’t hold back a strong offensive attack as the Moccasins came back to win the final three games and the match, 27-30,17-30,30-17,30-23,15-11.
The loss snapped a seven-match winning streak for FGCU, which is now 13-2. Florida Southern improved to 13-3 on the season.
Sophomore setter Laura Manovill (Dunedin) had 34 assists for FGCU. Whitney Hendry (Fort Myers/Bishop Verot) made 25 digs for the Eagles while Heather Van Olst(Loxahatchee/Royal Palm) added 10 kills and 16 digs. Senior middle hitter Kristy Hartley (Naples / St. John Neumann) had seven kills for FGCU.
The Eagles utilized a strong defensive effort and ball-control offense in the first two games. But Florida Southern held the Eagles to an (-0.53) attack percentage in game three. After the Moccasins jumped out to an early six-point advantage in game four, the Eagles rallied behind two kills each from junior hitter Lori Brooks (Naples) and freshman middle blocker Lauren Stockman-Puder (Fort Myers) to pull within 25-22 but couldn’t pull out a victory. In the decisive game, the Mocs ran out to a 6-0 lead and held on for the comeback victory.
The Eagles host Lynn University at Alico Arena on Friday at 7:00 pm before embarking on an eight-game road swing that includes games at No. 5 Barry and No. 12 Tampa.
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