Eagles Win Tough Five-Set Match at Mercer
Friday, October 07, 2011
Florida Gulf Coast (9-7 (4-0 A-Sun))
Mercer (5-14 (0-5 A-Sun))
10/7/2011 | Macon, Ga. | Attendance: 241
Florida Gulf Coast2520251615
Stats at a GlanceFGCUMER
Hitting Pct..183.222
Total Attacks164158
Statistical LeadersFGCUMER
KillsHOPPER - 15
AssistsMEYER - 27
DOLNY - 49
AcesHOLM - 2
BlocksHOPPER - 5

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Three Eagles registered double-digit kills as the FGCU Volleyball squad remained undefeated in Atlantic Sun Conference play with a 3-2 (25-19, 20-25, 25-21, 16-25, 15-12) win over the Bears of Mercer on Friday night. FGCU’s 4-0 start to conference play marks the fourth time in five years that the Eagles have won their first four A-Sun matches.

The Green and Blue (9-7 overall, 4-0 A-Sun) and Mercer (5-14, 0-5 A-Sun) traded wins in the first two sets. After winning the third set, 25-21, the Eagles dropped the fourth game, 16-25, before winning the decisive fifth set, 15-12, to secure the match.

“Tonight was a win for the bench with Jess (Barnes) and Camil (Dominguez) coming in and doing some good things on a night where a lot of our players struggled,” said head coach Dave Nichols. “This was a good match where we competed well and were tough on big points, but there are a lot of things we need to do better.”

Freshman Jill Hopper (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown HS) blasted a team high 15 kills and added 14 digs to record her fifth double-double of the season. Senior Jelena Simic (Lazarevac, Serbia/Kolubara Technical/Seward County CC) registered her fourth double-double of the year with 13 kills and 15 digs and sophomore Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS/Marshall) notched 12 kills. Freshman Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River HS) finished with nine kills and a pair of blocks, while setters Gigi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS) and Camil Dominguez (Santo Domingo, D.R./Santa Teresita) recorded 27 and 26 assists, respectively. Senior libero Holly Youngquist (Estero, Fla./Evangelical Christian HS) anchored the FGCU defense with 20 digs.

Amiee Frutchey (17), Jennifer Katona (13) and Anna Coursey (10) each finished with double-digit kills to lead Mercer. Madeline Dolny added 49 assists and 12 digs for the Bears.

In the first set, the Eagles took a 17-13 lead on a kill Mesner. Mercer cut the FGCU lead down to three points (22-19) after an Anna Coursey kill, but the Green and Blue scored off of kills from Holm and Simic and an attack error by the Bears to pick up the 25-19 win in the first game.

Trailing 14-7 early in the second set, the Eagles used a 7-2 spurt, capped by a Brooke Koehler (Jupiter, Fla./Jupiter HS/Clemson) kill, to cut Mercer’s advantage down to 16-14. After burning a timeout, the Bears outscored FGCU 9-6 to win the set (25-20) and tie the match at 1-1.

In the third set, which saw eight ties, Mercer grabbed a 16-14 lead mid-way through the game. The Green and Blue responded with a 7-0 run, highlighted by a pair of kills from Mesner, to take a 21-16 lead. A Frutchey kill cut the FGCU lead to 22-18, but a kill by Holm pushed the Eagles in front 23-18 and forced Mercer to call a timeout. FGCU would go on to win the set, 25-21, after a Mercer attack error to grab a 2-1 lead in the match.

In the fourth set, Mercer took care of business and built a lead as large as 10 points before winning the set 25-16 to force a decisive fifth game.

In the final frame, the Eagles jumped out to an early 8-4 lead after Holm bombed a kill. The Bears used a 5-1 run to tie the set at 9-9, but FGCU responded in a big way, with a kill from Simic and a service ace from Holm to go up 11-9. After Mercer burned their first timeout of the set, the Green and Blue responded by outscoring the Bears, 4-3, to win the deciding set and pick up their fourth A-Sun victory of the 2011 season.

The Eagles close out the weekend tomorrow at Kennesaw State (8-12, 3-2 A-Sun) at 3 p.m. Live stats for the match will be available at www.KSUOwls.com and the match can be seen live online on A-Sun.TV.