@FGCU_VB Struggles Against Stetson, Falls 3-1
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|Stats at a Glance||STET||FGCU|
DROST - 2
MAMBUCA - 4
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU women’s volleyball team fell behind early against Stetson Saturday afternoon and ultimately fell, 3-1, after being unable to mount a large enough comeback. The team fell in the first two sets (25-20, 25-13) but bounced back with a win in set three (25-17). The Eagles challenged the Hatters in the final stanza but could not steal the advantage. A 25-23 win in set four gave the visiting team the win and helped Stetson earn a position in the Atlantic Sun Championship Tournament with a record of 18-13 (9-7 A-Sun). The Eagles fall to 12-17 (8-8 A-Sun) with the loss.
Junior outside hitter Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City High School) led the Eagles offensively, with 14 kills on the day, while senior Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers High School) added 11 in her final match at Alico Arena.
Defensively, three players had double-digit kills, with libero Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind./Wapahani High School) leading the way at 17. Caroline Jordan (Orlando, Fla./William R. Boone High School) and Gigi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS) added 14 and 12, respectively, while Meyer paced the Eagles with 44 assists on the day for her eighth double-double of the season.
“Today was a really frustrating loss,” explained head coach Dave Nichols. “We feel really bad for the seniors that on their last day here we didn’t play a particularly sharp game. I want to give credit to Stetson. They stayed steady and stayed with it. We were up and down in serve receive, we were up and down in our focus and our intensity level and we just can’t do that. We’ve played well in stretches this season but we’ve played kind of nervous and tight in stretches and we had another evening like that. It’s hard on the team and hard on the coaches. We have to go back to work next week and see if we can improve on some of those things.”
The Eagles opened the match with a 3-0 lead to begin set one, but saw as the Hatters battled to fight for points and ultimately tied the set 9-9 and 10-10. The Hatters claimed a slight lead on two-quick kills and held onto a small advantage through the next nine points. With the visiting team leading 20-18, the Eagles allowed the Hatters to outscore them, 5-2, to end the set. A 25-20 win gave the Hatters a 1-0 advantage in the match.
The teams fought for points early in set two, but an 11-1 run for the Hatters gave Stetson an 18-8 lead. The Eagles called two timeouts during the streak but could not stop the Hatter’s attack. The visiting team went on to defeat the Eagles, 25-13, in set two to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Eagles responded with a strong third set. The team compiled a 10-2 lead to open the stanza and maintained the lead through the entire set.
Five kills and an attack percentage of .455 from freshman Shelby Joslin (Avla, Fla/Evangelical Christian High School) led the Eagles to a 25-17 win in set three and helped the team stay alive in the match.
The Hatters opened set four with a 6-1 lead, but the Eagles were not finished fighting. The home team responded to tie the set at 14 and battled through the next several points to hold the tie at 20 points. FGCU took a 21-20 lead on a block by Holm and senior Karina Mambuca (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast High School), forcing Stetson to call a timeout. The Hatters tied the set out of the timeout and reclaimed the lead at 22-21 on an Eagle error. The teams again traded points and tied the set at 23.
With the match on the line, Stetson sealed the win by forcing two Eagle errors. The Hatters won set four, 25-23, to take the match victory, 3-1.
The Green and Blue will conclude the Atlantic Sun regular season slate next weekend with road games at Northern Kentucky and Lipscomb. The Eagles will look to produce quality results prior to the Atlantic Sun Tournament.
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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