JACKSONVILLE, Fla., - The FGCU volleyball team wrapped up the Atlantic Sun Championship with a 3-0 (30-22, 30-24, 30-23) of Jacksonville. With the win, the Eagles improve to 23-2 overall and finish their inaugural A-Sun campaign with a 10-1 mark while Jacksonville falls to 16-12 and 8-3.
“We came out sharp in all three games tonight,” stated coach Carrie Lundy. “There no let downs in any of the games and this was definitely a group effort. Winning the A-Sun Championship was our goal this season and I am proud of the team. There were a number of times we could have let it slip away, but we did not miss a beat.”
In game one, FGCU took an early 10-3 lead after a kill by Roberta Santos (Recife, Brazil) and increased the lead to 18-9 on another kill by Patricia Silva (Sao Palo, Brazil). JU would cut the margin to seven 20-13 on a FGCU service error, but the Eagles answered with a 5-1 run to take a 25-14 advantage after a bad set by the Dolphins. JU would get no closer than seven points (29-22) as FGCU took a 1-0 lead.
In the second frame, each team went through four ties early on until FGCU opened up an 11-6 lead after a kill by Santos. JU battle back to tie the contest, 15-15 and 19-19, but could not recapture the lead as the Eagles answered the second tie with a 4-0 run to lead 23-19 after a pair of aces by Ana Kokanovic (Lazarevac, Serbia). The Dolphins pulled to within three (25-22) after a service error by Santos but the Eagles ended the game with a 4-2 run to take a 2-0 lead.
In the final frame, both teams went through five early ties before the Eagles used a 5-0 run to lead 10-5. JU cut the margin to 17-15 after a kill by Abby Gruenbacher but the Eagles pushed the lead to 24-17 with a 7-2 run. JU would pull to within six (26-20) on a kill by Melissa Merchant but FGCU ended the game hitting a match-high .290 (17-6-37) to take the match.
Abby Gruenbacher led JU with 12 kills and added three blocks in the match. Melissa Merchant picked up six kills and three blocks as well.
Three Eagles reached double figures in kills, led by Roberta Santos with 15. Ana Kokanovic added 14 while Patricia Silva picked up 12. All three hit over .300 in the match. Santos added 25 assists, seven digs, two blocks and two aces. Kokanovic tacked on a pair of aces as well. Brooke Youngquist (Fort Myers, Fla.) added eight kills and a match-high 20 digs.
The Eagles wrap up their season on Tuesday night when they travel to Miami, Fla., to face Florida International at 7:00 pm.