Barnes and Simic Lead FGCU over ETSU, 3-1
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|Stats at a Glance||ETSU||FGCU|
MEYER - 1
HOPPER - 1
BARNES - 1
YOUNGQUIST - 19
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Sophomore Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City HS) and senior Jelena Simic (Lazarevac, Serbia/Kolubara Technical/Seward County CC) recorded 25 kills and 20 kills, respectively, as the FGCU volleyball squad defeated ETSU, 3-1 (31-29, 26-24, 31-33, 25-21), Saturday night at Alico Arena.
With the win the Eagles improve to 12-8 overall (6-1 A-Sun), while the Bucs fall to 10-12 on the season (3-4 A-Sun).
Barnes hit .358 and added three digs as she recorded a career-high 25 kills. Barnes’ 25 kills rank her tied for third with Simic and Devon Watts in the FGCU record books for kills in a single match. Simic added 19 digs to go with her season-high 20 kills, as she record her second consecutive double-double. Freshman Jill Hopper (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown HS) finished with 10 kills, six digs and four blocks. Sophomore Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS/Marshall) recorded 10 kills and six digs. Freshman setter Gigi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS) racked up a career-high 61 assists, which rank her fifth all-time in FGCU history for assists in a match. Senior libero Holly Youngquist (Estero, Fla./Evangelical Christian HS) and freshman Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind./ Wapahani HS) anchored the Green and Blue’s defense and chipped in with 19 digs and 16 digs, respectively.
Megan Devine recorded a match-high 26 kills to lead the Bucs.
The opening set, which saw 24 ties, was back and forth throughout. With the score tied at 23, an Eagle service error gave ETSU a set point opportunity at 24-23. FGCU responded with a kill from Hopper to even the score. ETSU put pressure on FGCU after earning set point on a service ace (29-28), which forced FGCU head coach Dave Nichols to call a timeout. After the break, Barnes blasted a kill to even the match at 29-29. A kill by Hopper gave the Eagles set point once again but this time they closed the game on a kill by Barnes.
The Eagles came out strong in the second frame and jumped out to a 21-13 lead. ETSU used a 5-0 spurt to cut the FGCU lead to three at 21-18. The Green and Blue won three of the next five points to take a 24-20 lead. The Lady Bucs rallied and scored four straight points to tie the match at 24. After an ETSU attack error, FGCU got a service ace from Holm to take the set, 26-24, and take a commanding, 2-0, lead in the match.
After dropping a wild third set, 33-31, the Eagles took a quick 10-6 lead in the fourth frame. FGCU used a few small runs to extend their lead, as ETSU could never mount a comeback. Leading 20-16, the Bucs used a 3-0 run to trim the FGCU advantage to just one point. The Green and Blue then took five of the next seven points to take the set, 25-21, and pick up their sixth A-Sun win of the season.
The Eagles return to the court next weekend when they head to Nashville, Tenn. to take on a pair of A-Sun foes. FGCU will meet Belmont (15-7, 6-1 A-Sun) in on Oct. 21 at 8:15 p.m., before facing defending A-Sun champion Lipscomb (13-6, 7-0 A-Sun) on Oct. 22 at 3 p.m.
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