FGCU Advances to A-Sun Semifinals with Victory Over UNF, 3-1
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PRIDGEON - 2
NASHVILLE, TENN. – Freshman Jill Hopper (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown HS) and sophomore Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS/Marshall) finished with 13 and 12 kills respectively as the FGCU volleyball squad defeated UNF 3-1 (25-22, 19-25, 25-11, 27-25 ) Thursday night in the quarterfinal of the A-Sun tournament at the Allen Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
FGCU is now 18-12 (10-3 A-Sun) and will face second-seeded Lipscomb in the semifinals of the A-Sun tournament on Friday at 6 p.m.
“We received great play from Kaitlin Holm and also Olivia Mesner was a spark for us off the bench,” said head coach Dave Nichols. “We battled tonight and hope to bring the same energy in tomorrow’s semifinal match against Lipscomb."
Holm hit .500 and added three digs and three block assists, while Hopper finished with 19 digs and two block assists. Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City HS) blasted eight kills and added one dig. Senior Jelena Simic (Lazarevac, Serbia/Kolubara Technical/Seward County CC) finished with eight kills and 10 digs and freshman setter Gigi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS) finished with 36 assists and 10 digs. Senior libero Holly Youngquist (Estero, Fla./Evangelical Christian HS) became fourth all-time in A-Sun history in total digs after 22 digs in the match. Freshman Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River HS) played in the last two sets, playing for the first time since a foot injury, tallied four kills and two block assists.
Carolyn Jenkins recorded 12 kills to lead North Florida. Casey Giovanazzi added 35 assists and five digs for the Ospreys.
In the opening set, the Eagles jumped out to a 20-15 lead before the Ospreys tied the match at 21-21. The Green and Blue won five of the next six points to take the set 25-22. Leading 24-22, the Eagles got a kill from Barnes to pick up the 25-22 win in game one. Barnes and Holm combined for 11 kills to lead FGCU.
In the second set, the Eagles fell behind 10-6 forcing head coach Dave Nichols to call a timeout. UNF would take six of the next seven points to build a 16-7 lead in the set. FGCU made a run by winning the next five points to cut UNF’s lead to 16-12. Freshman Gigi Meyer had three service aces in the set but UNF went on to win the second set 25-19 to even the match at 1-1.
FGCU got off to a great start in game three, as they grabbed an early 9-2 lead after an attack error by UNF’s Cameron McGuire. The Green and Blue would storm out to a 22-7 advantage after a kill by freshman Jill Hopper. The Eagles would hold on to the big lead and take the third set 25-11 to lead 2-1 in the match.
In the fourth and final set, FGCU battled back and forth with UNF as the teams were tied at 17-17. The Eagles would take a 24-22 lead before UNF tied the match at 24-24, off a kill from Cameron McGuire. The Green and Blue would get another match point at 26-25 when Simic won the match with a kill to give the Eagles the victory.
Fans unable to attend the tournament in Nashville can view each match of the Atlantic Sun Championship free of charge online at ASun.TV. Live stats will be available at LipscombSports.com and in-game Twitter updates can be found at Twitter.com/FGCUEagles.
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