FORT MYERS, Fla.- The Florida Gulf Coast University Volleyball team fell to Florida International by a score of 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-22) Tuesday night at Alico Arena on Senior Night. The loss a snaps a 35 match home winning streak. The home crowd saw seniors Ana Kokanoivc (Lazarevac, Serbia), Audrey Campbell (Tampa, Fla.), Roberta Santos (Recife, Brazil), and Kelly O’Connor (Key Largo, Fla.) play their final home match. With the loss, the Eagles fall to 19-7 on the season while FIU improves to 25-5.
Ana Kokanoivc led the Eagles with 13 kills while chipping in nine digs. Roberta Santos had 25 assists to go with five kills. Yarimar Rosa, an AVCA All-American last season, had 26 kills and 14 digs for the Panthers.
The Eagles took an early 3-0 lead the first set when Audrey Campbell and Cheyenne Jenks (Naples, Fla.) combined to block a Rosa attack. The Panthers would battle back and tie the score at three, and the teams would trade points until the Eagles tallied five straight to take a 19-15 lead. But the Panthers would go on a run of their own, taking a 22-19 lead. A Kokanoivc kill would then tie the score at 22. But the Panthers would take the final three points to take match on by a score of 25-22.
The second set was similar to game one, with both teams trading points. Campbell and Jenks would team up once again for a big block to give the Eagles an early 8-6 advantage. But the Panthers would pull away later in the match, taking a lead of 20-16 before an FGCU timeout. The Eagles could only get as close as three, as the Panthers took the set 25-20.
FIU came up firing early in the third set, going on a 9-2 run, taking a 13-6 lead. But the Eagles would battle back, and with a Santos kill, making the deficit 18-17. But that was as close as the Eagles got, and the Panthers won the final set 25-22.
The Eagles will be back in action this weekend when they travel to Jacksonville, Fla. to battle Atlantic Sun foes North Florida and Jacksonville to wrap up their 2008 campaign. FGCU can wrap up their second Atlantic Sun championship in as many years with a win over either foe.