Eagles Volleyball Splits Pair at Grand Valley Fall Classic
ALLENDALE, Mich. - The Florida Gulf Coast University volleyball team split their first two games in the Merinos/Grand Valley State Fall Classic in Allendale, Mich. on Friday. The Eagles lost to #14 Grand Valley State 3-2 (30-28, 23-30, 22-30, 30-28, 7-15) after sweeping Arkansas Tech 3-0 (30-20, 30-23, 30-28) earlier in the day to open the two-day tournament.
In the opener, junior middle blocker Ericka Fonseca (Belo Horizontal, Brazil) led the Eagles with 17 kills, her fourth straight match in double figures. Sophomore outside hitter Brooke Ogunquit (Fort Myers, Fla.) added 14 kills while senior Devon Watts (Somerville, Texas) recorded 10 kills. Sophomore libero Whitney Hendry had 23 digs as FGCU posted its third sweep of the season.
In the day's feature match, FGCU took control early and surprised Grand Valley with a 30-28 victory in game one. However, the Lakers overcame a 7-5 Eagles lead in game two and rolled to an easy 30-23 to tie the match before posting a 30-22 win in game three. Senior outside hitter Lori Brooks (Naples, Fla.) knocked down back-to-back kills to snap a 25-25 tie as the Eagles regrouped for a 30-28 win in game four to tie the match 2-2. But in the decisive final game, the Lakers took advantage of several attack errors to build a 7-1 lead and coast to the 15-7 win.
Sophomore middle blocker Tamar Grigsby (West Palm Beach, Fla.) recorded a career-high 19 kills and Brooks had a career-high 16 kills to pace FGCU against Grand Valley. Watts added 14 kills, her fourth straight match in double figures, and 12 digs.
Ogunquit also recorded a double-double with 10 kills and 18 digs for the Eagles, who were held to a .season-low 153 attack percentage. Freshman setter Clara Sandoval (Fort Myers, Fla.) handed out a school-record 60 assists to pace the offense while Hendry recorded a season-high 31 digs.
Five Lakers tallied 10 or more kills in the match, led by senior all-American middle blocker Tracy Kirk with 22. Senior outside hitter Tina Tremble posted a double-double with 15 kills and 10 digs. Sophomore Alyson Riley posted a match-high 38 digs. Grand Valley held an 80-69 advantage in kills and recorded 13 team blocks to FGCU’s seven. The Eagle held a 95-92 advantage in digs.
On Saturday, FGCU (4-1) will begin the day with a 2 p.m. match against Lake Superior State and then conclude the tournament against a strong Wheeling Jesuit team at 6 p.m.