@FGCU_VB Extends Win Streak to Five, Defeats Stetson 3-0
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DeLAND, Fla. – With three sets of competitive action, the Florida Gulf Coast University women’s volleyball team extended its win streak to five games in a 3-0 win over Atlantic Sun rival Stetson University at the Edmonds Center. The Eagles improve to 6-10 on the year with a 4-1 mark in A-Sun action and hand the Hatters their first conference loss of the season. Stetson falls to 13-7 this season with a 4-1 conference record.
“Tonight was a really nice team win for us,” said head coach Dave Nichols. “Stetson is a very good team and we had to battle the whole night to take care of business. Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers High School) was really phenomenal and did a great job finishing sets and Ashley Noble (Wall, N.J./Wall High School) came off the bench with a great block to really swing the momentum for us.”
“The team is really growing, playing calm under pressure and doing a great job finishing sets,” continued Nichols. “I feel that this team is reaching its stride and I am excited about how we’re playing.”
The Eagles battled for a win in a hard-fought match that saw 24 tie scores and 12 lead changes.
FGCU played a strong defensive game with 47 digs and 11 total team blocks on the night. Karina Mambuca (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast High School) led the team with 11 digs through three sets, while Christine Pinder (Gainseville, Fla./Buchholz High School) added 10 digs for the Eagles. Mambuca also led FGCU with five block assists.
Offensively, Holm was a catalyst for the Eagles with a team-high 16 kills and an attack percentage of .609. Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River High School) added 10 kills for FGCU, while Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City High School) added eight. GiGi Meyer (Gainseville, Fla./Buchholz High School) aided the attack with 31 assists.
The Hatters began set one with a quick 3-0 lead. The Eagles responded to tie the set at four and took a 5-4 lead on a Barnes kill before Stetson called timeout to slow the FGCU attack. The teams traded points to even the stanza at eight points each before a four-point streak gave FGCU a 12-8 lead. The Eagles maintained the advantage with hard hitting and strong blocking and increased the lead to 20-13 on a kill from Holm.
The Hatters challenged the Green and Blue with several series of multiple point streaks and used a seven-point rally while facing set point to bring the score to 24-22. A Barnes kill sealed the first set at 25-22 to put the Eagles ahead, 1-0 in the match.
Set two proved to be the toughest battle of the Eagles’ season thus far. FGCU and Stetson fought for each and every point of the set, with neither team ever taking more than a two-point lead. The teams consistently exchanged points and tied the score an unprecedented 19 times. While trailing 23-22, a kill from Barnes evened the set and two-consecutive hits from Holm secured the Eagles’ advantage and gave the team a 25-23 win to move to 2-0 in the match.
The Eagles carried the momentum into set three and sparked a 5-2 lead before Stetson called a timeout to regroup. FGCU held onto the advantage and used a block from Holm and Mambuca to take a 10-6 lead. A service ace by Meyer brought the score to 11-6 before Stetson called its final timeout of the set.
The Hatters scored the first point out of the break but were unable to cut the deficit until a four-point rally tied the set at 17. The Eagles responded with their own four-point series that included two service aces by Meyer to take a 21-17 lead. The Green and Blue ultimately sealed the advantage by scoring four of the final five points and took a 25-19 win with a strong kill by Holm to end the set.
The win increased the Eagle streak to five-straight games and helped the Green and Blue move ahead in the Atlantic Sun standings.
The Eagles will break from Atlantic Sun play on Tuesday, Oct. 8 as they host FAU at Alico Arena. The first set is slated for 7 p.m.
2013-14 volleyball tickets are available by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets. Season tickets are $35 for adults and $17 for youth (ages 3-12). Single-game tickets can also be purchased for $6 per adult and $3 for youth. Groups of 10+ can receive a discounted rate of $3 per person. FGCU students and faculty/staff are admitted for free with a valid University ID.
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