CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Three Eagles finished with six kills as the FGCU volleyball team dropped its season-opener to Miami, 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-17) on Friday evening in first day action of the Hurricane Invitational at the James L. Knight Sports Complex in Coral Gables, Fla.
“Physically we did some nice things,” said head coach Dave Nichols. “The overall picture is I think we can ultimately be a very good volleyball team, but there are areas we need to get much better at.”
Friday's match was the season-opener for both teams, and the first-ever meeting between the in-state opponents.
With the opening set tied at 16, UM (1-0) opened a two-point edge at 18-16 following back-to-back attack errors charged to FGCU (0-1). The Eagles quickly regrouped and tied the set at 18-all behind a kill from Anna Wagner (Lincoln, Neb.) and a service ace from Alexa Napoleon (Naples, Fla.).
UM then took a 24-19 advantage as junior UM middle blocker Lici McGee connected on three kills for the Hurricanes in a 6-1 run. The `Canes closed out the opening set with a kill from Lane Carico (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) in order to open the match with the 1-0 effort on a 25-20 score.
In the second set, Miami hit .258 (13-5-31) as a team, while the Eagles only managed a .088 hitting percentage (10-7-34). After Wagner's kill from the left side allowed the Eagles to step out in front, 11-10, Miami raced to a 7-2 run to move back in front, 17-13. The Hurricanes then went on to take the second set, 25-17.
The final set was played similar to the second set as UM had a .324 hitting percentage (17-5-37) and too the set, 25-17.
The Hurricanes jumped out to a 7-2 lead as senior UM picked up four points off serve.
A block from the FGCU’s Ashley Yance (Fort Myers, Fla.), the Eagles closed the gap to within 8-6.
Miami eventually took the set in order to close-out the match, 25-17 and held the Eagles to a .028 hitting percentage in the final set.
Wagner, Emma Racilla (Fort Myers, Fla.), and Jelena Simic (Lazarevac, Serbia) led FGCU with six kills each. Senior setter Chandra LeFever (Fort Morgan, Col.) finished with 22 assists, while Holly Youngquist (Estero, Fla.) provided the defensive efforts with 13 digs.
FGCU will play the first match of day two action at the Hurricane Invitational on Saturday when the Eagles take on USF at 10 a.m. The Blue and Green concludes the tournament with a matchup with Prairie View A&M at 5 p.m.
USF defeated Prairie View A&M, 3-0, in the opening match of the Hurricane Invitational.