Eagles Win Five-Set Thriller Over Belmont in the 'Music City'
Friday, October 21, 2011
Florida Gulf Coast (13-8, 7-1 A-Sun)
BEL (15-8, 6-2 A-Sun)
10/21/2011 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 304
Florida Gulf Coast2525212818
Stats at a GlanceFGCUBEL
Hitting Pct..123.174
Total Attacks195219
Statistical LeadersFGCUBEL
KillsHOPPER - 17
AssistsMEYER - 44
AcesHOPPER - 5
MYER - 2
BlocksKOHLER - 10

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Three Eagles recorded double-doubles as the FGCU volleyball squad defeated Belmont, 3-2 (25-23, 25-22, 21-25, 28-30, 18-16), in a hard fought match Friday night at the Curb Event Center Arena.

With the win the Eagles move into second place in the Atlantic Sun standings and improve to 13-8 overall and 7-1 in A-Sun play, while the Bruins of Belmont fall to 15-8 (6-2 A-Sun). FGCU is now 6-2 all-time against Belmont.

The Green and Blue (13-8 overall, 7-1 A-Sun) took the first two sets from Belmont (15-8, 6-2 A-Sun) by the scores of 25-23 and 25-22. After winning the third and fourth set to the Bruins, 25-21 and 30-28, the Eagles fought hard and won the decisive fifth set, 18-16, to secure the match.

Freshman Jill Hopper (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown HS) nearly recorded a triple-double with 17 kills, 13 digs and a career-high eight blocks. Redshirt-senior Jelena Simic (Lazarevac, Serbia/Kolubara Technical/Seward County CC) finished with 15 kills and 15 digs to record her seventh double-double of the season. Junior Brooke Kohler (Jupiter, Fla./Jupiter HS/Clemson) recorded nine kills and a career-high 10 blocks. Reigning A-Sun Player of the Week Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City HS) chipped in with eight kills and six digs. Freshman setter Gigi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS) racked up 44 assists and added 17 digs to pick up her fifth double-double of the campaign. 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 27 digs and 15 digs, respectively.

Maggie Johnson led Belmont with 25 kills and 20 digs, while Jamie Lundstrom and Hannah Miranda recorded team-highs with 30 digs and 64 assists, respectively.

FGCU won the first game 25-23 after switching leads three times and trailing for most of the second part of the set. Belmont took a 10-5 lead to start the second set, before the Eagles used a big run to take a 15-14 and went on the close out the game 25-22.

Momentum shifted in the third set when Belmont closed out the game with a 9-2 run to win 25-21. Trailing 19-16, Jen Myer recorded a kill and a service ace to pull the Bruins within one. With the score tied at 21, Barnes committed an attack error and Belmont never looked back and went on to win the third set 25-21.

The fourth game saw 11 ties and four lead changes before the Bruins won 30-28 to force a decisive five-set.

In the final frame, the Bruins jumped out to an early 6-3 lead after an Eagle attack error. The Green and Blue responded with a 7-1 run to grab a 10-7 advantage. After Belmont used a 4-2 spurt to cut the FGCU lead to 12-11, the Eagles got a kill from Hopper and a Belmont attack error to increase their lead to 14-11. The Bruins would not go away quietly, as they scored four unanswered points to take control of the set 15-14 and force FGCU head coach Dave Nichols to call a timeout. After the break, FGCU got back-to-back kills from Hopper to regain the lead, 16-15. Allison McCoy blasted a kill to tie the set at 16-16, but the Eagles wrapped up the set and the match after Hopper and Simic recorded kills to give the Green and Blue an 18-16 win in the set and a 3-2 win in the match.

The Eagles return to the court tomorrow afternoon to take on defending A-Sun Champion Lipscomb at 3:00 p.m.