Lyles' Career Night Not Enough as Eagles Fall to Lipscomb, 3-2
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Senior Chelsea Lyles (Colorado Springs, Col./Harrison HS/Western Nebraska CC) recorded a career-high and game-high 22 kills and hit .375 as the Eagles dropped a tough match to the defending A-Sun champs Lipscomb 3-2 (16-25, 25-23, 23-25, 25-20, 12-15) Friday night at Alico Arena.
With victories two sets during the match, FGCU became just the first team to take two games from Lipscomb during an A-Sun Conference match this season. The Blue and Green’s gutsy effort also nearly helped them snap the Bisons 27-match winning streak in conference play.
The loss drops the Eagles to 5-17 overall (2-6 A-Sun), while the Bisons improve to 24-6 overall (8-0 A-Sun) on the season.
FGCU finished with a .140 hitting percentage and used a match-high 82 digs to frustrate the Lipscomb offense but could not hold on to win the match.
The Bisons, who have won eight consecutive matches, hit .201 in the contest and tallied 13 team blocks while finding a way to pull out tight sets in the third and fifth.
Lyles finished the match with 22 kills and four block assists. Lyles’ 22 kills rank tied-eighth all-time in FGCU’s record book for kills in a single match. Senior Adrianne McNally (Howell, Mich./Pinckney HS) chipped in with 11 kills, five digs and three block assists. Freshman setter Camil Dominguez (Santo Domingo, D.R./Santa Teresita) registered a double-double with 16 digs and a career-high 52 assists, while senior Caitlin Shawver (Lauderdale by the Sea, Fla./Northeast HS/Barry) finished with eight kills and 14 digs and senior Alexa Napoleon (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier/Jacksonville) tied her career-high with 16 digs. Junior Holly Youngquist (Estero, Fla./Evangelical Christian) pitched in with six kills and a match-high 22 digs.
In the first set, Lipscomb jumped out to a 20-12 lead after a kill by Kaycee Green and would never look back. The Lady Bisons cruised to a 25-16 win in game one thanks to efficient attacking from their outside hitters and costly mistakes from the FGCU defense. Lipscomb hit .281 in the set while limiting the Eagles to -.027.
In the second game, the Bisons grabbed another early lead (9-7), before FGCU used a quick 4-0 run to grab an 11-9 lead and force Lipscomb to burn a timeout. A service error by Dominguez cut the Blue and Green’s lead down to 18-17, but a kill from McNally and a ball handling error on the Bisons gave FGCU a 20-17 lead and forced Lipscomb to call their second timeout of the set. The Lady Bisons responded out of the timeout and evened the score at 23-23, but back-to-back kills from Lyles secured the game for FGCU as they won 25-23 and evened the match, 1-1, heading into the break.
In the third set, FGCU fell behind 7-4 early in the games but a 7-0 run, highlighted by kills from Lyles and Dominquez and great serving from Youngquist, gave the Eagles an 11-7 lead. With FGCU leading 17-13, the Lady Bisons employed an 11-3 run to open up a 24-20 advantage. Facing defeat in the set the Eagles scored three consecutive points off of a pair of attack errors by Lipscomb and a kill from Lyles, to make the score 24-23. A kill by the Bisons’ Meghan Hinemeyer gave Lipscomb the game (25-23) and a 2-1 lead in the match.
In the fourth stanza, FCGU grabbed an early 18-14 lead after back-to-back kills from McNally. The Eagles continued to pour it on and went on to take the game 25-20 and force the critical fifth set.
In the final frame, the teams battled back-and-forth in a set that saw nine ties. With the score even at 11, the Lady Bisons scored four of the next five points to win the fifth game (15-12) and the match.
FGCU will continue A-Sun action Saturday night as they take on Belmont on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Alico Arena. The contest can be seen live on ASun.TV and live stats will be available at FGCUAthletics.com.
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