Volleyball Defeated in Five Set Thriller, 3-2
FORT MYERS, Fla. – After winning its first two sets, the FGCU volleyball team was unable to capture any of the final three, as they suffered a disappointing loss to Jacksonville University on Saturday afternoon at Alico Arena. The Dolphins took the final three sets to win (22-25, 24-26, 25-11, 25-21, and 15-9) in a key A-Sun matchup.
With the win, the Dolphins improve their record to 15-8 overall (11-2 A-Sun), while the Eagles fall to 11-8 overall (10-3 A-Sun).
As their records would indicate, both squads were evenly matched and went point for point throughout most of the first set, which included 14 ties and six lead changes. However, late in the set the Eagles would go on a 6-1 run to build a 24-21 lead on the way to a 25-22 first set victory. Junior Jelena Simic (Lazarevac, Serbia) led the attack for FGCU, connecting on five of her seven attacks.
The second set looked a lot like the first with long rallies as the teams once again played each other point for point. After a block by senior Ashley Yance (Fort Myers, Fla.) gave FGCU an 11-9 lead, the Dolphins were forced to call a timeout to stop the momentum. JU then came out of the timeout taking five of the next six points and a 14-12 lead. The Dolphins held a 19-16 advantage but the Eagles went on a 4-0 run taking a 20-19 lead thanks in part to a pair of JU errors and kills by Anna Wagner (Lincoln, Neb.) and Emma Racila (Fort Myers, Fla.). After finding themselves in a 24-23 hole the Eagles would get back-to-back kills from junior Jacqueline Cowden (Danville, Calif.) to take the second set by a score of 26-24.
It would be all Jacksonville in the third set as they avoided the three-set sweep. JU jumped out to a 17-7 lead and never looked back as they won the set by a score of 25-11. Brooke Singleton led the charge for the Dolphins, picking up seven kills. Cowden added a pair of kills for the Green and Blue.
The fourth set was reminiscent of the first two, as the Eagles and Dolphins battled point-for-point. With some added motivation coming off the disappointing third set, FGCU took an early 9-7 lead thanks to another kill by Cowden. Yance built on the FGCU lead with a kill and a block mid-way through the set at 13-10. The Dolphins battled back taking the next five points to secure a 15-13 lead that forced head coach Dave Nichols to call a timeout. The Eagles were unable to recover from the small deficit, as JU won the set 25-21.
In the fifth and final set FGCU jumped out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to a kill by Wagner and a Dolphins service error. After a Kathryn Kane block, the Eagles saw themselves trailing by a 5-3 margin. With the score tied at eight all the Dolphins went on an impressive run, converting six out of the next seven points to take the match 3-2.
For the Eagles, Cowden led the way with 12 kills, while Racila and Simic recorded 10 each. Brooke Singleton led the charge for the Dolphins with an impressive 25 kills, while Kathryn Kane added 15 of her own.
The Eagles will be back in action on the road Tuesday at 7 p.m. when face Florida Atlantic in a non-conference matchup. FGCU returns to A-Sun play on Saturday, October 23rd when they battle first place conference foe Lipscomb at 7 p.m. in Nashville, Tenn.
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