With a Record Crowd in Attendance, @FGCU_VB Falls to Lipscomb 3-1 in Challenging Fight
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|Stats at a Glance||LIP(1)||FGCU|
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU women’s volleyball team battled through a difficult fight but ultimately fell, 3-1 to Lipscomb Friday night in front of a record crowd of 2,234 fans at Alico Arena. The Lady Bison took the win in set one (25-23) before the Eagles responded with a set-two win (25-22). The visitors earned tight wins in set three and four (25-23, 25-20) to take the victory. With the loss, the Eagles drop to 9-12 on the season with a 5-3 record in Atlantic Sun action, while the Bison improve to 13-6 with a 7-3 record in A-Sun play.
“I’m proud of the girls for staying mentally tough in this match,” explained head coach Dave Nichols. “We played hard in front of a great crowd, especially in the fourth set, but we just could not sustain the pace of Lipscomb’s attack. We will need to rebound to play a strong game tomorrow night.”
As a unit, the Eagles hit .270 on the night, while allowing the visiting team to maintain an attack percentage of .323. Lipscomb, the NCAA leader in kills per set, recorded 65 kills on the night.
Individually, Christine Pinder (Gainesville, Fla/Buchholz High School) led the Eagles with a team-high 17 kills and 16 digs on the night for her seventh double-double of the season. Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River High School) and Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers High School) also added double-digit attacks for the Green and Blue, with 16 and 13 kills, respectively.
Defensively, libero Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind./Wapahani High School) paced the Eagles with 21 digs through four sets.
The Bison took hold of set one to start the match and went ahead with an 8-4 lead. The Eagles responded to bring the set within one point but faced a setback when the Bison strung together three-quick points. While trailing 11-7, Nichols called timeout to help the Green and Blue regroup.
A Holm kill gave the Eagles the first point out of the timeout but the Bison still held the momentum in the opening stanza. The Eagles battled back to cut the deficit to two points at 20-18 and rallied to tie the set at 20 on a block from Mambuca and Mesner and a Pinder kill. The teams exchanged points at 21 and 22 before the Bison reclaimed the lead at 24-22. The Eagles scored one more point on a Bison error before the Bison took the set, 25-23, to take the initial match lead.
Set one saw strong offensive play from both teams with the Eagles out-hitting the visitors, .462 to .372. The Bison recorded 20 kills in the set, led by 10 from Caitlin Dotson, while the Eagles saw seven kills from Pinder and a team-total 18.
Lipscomb started set two with a lead before the Eagles responded to tie the set 14 on a four-point rally. The Eagles maintained the advantage, forcing Lipscomb to call timeout while trailing by two.
The Bison scored the first point after the break on a strong kill but Mesner replied with an attack to hold the two-point advantage. The Eagles increased the lead to 20-15 on a block from Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City High School) and maintained the lead. Lipscomb challenged the Green and Blue late in the set and scored two points while the Eagles faced set point. A Pinder kill sealed a set-two victory for FGCU, 25-22.
Again, the Bison took a 4-1 lead to begin the third set but the Eagles quickly retaliated to tie the set at four. After trading points, the visiting team took a 10-7 advantage before Nichols called timeout. The Eagles rallied for a kill out of the timeout and continued to challenge the Bison to each point. A Bison error on a Barnes serve enabled the Eagles to tie the set at 17 before a strong service ace from Barnes put the Green and Blue ahead, 18-17.
After a Lipscomb timeout, the Bison took a brief lead late in the set and sealed a 25-23 win on a final kill.
In continuing the trend, the teams traded points to begin the fourth set. The Bison used a four-point rally to take a 10-6 lead and forced FGCU to use a timeout. A Holm kill brought the home team within two points and a Mesner kill tied the set at 12. Another Mesner attack put the Eagles ahead 13-12 but the Bison fought back again to tie the set. The teams exchanged rallies midway through the stanza but the Green and Blue saw as the Bison took hold of the set with a 20-17 lead. Two Eagle errors helped the visitors to a 24-19 lead but a stellar Mesner kill kept the Eagles alive on match point. A kill from NCAA assist leader Caitlin Dotson sealed the set for Lipscomb, 25-20 and gave the Bison a 3-1 match victory.
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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