FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU volleyball team wrapped up play in the 2009 Holiday Inn LA City Center Trojan Invitational as they fell to No. 21 Pepperdine 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-15) on Saturday afternoon at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif.
The Waves, who outhit the Eagles .360 to .200, improved to 5-1 on the season. FGCU dropped to 1-5.
Junior Jelena Simic (Lazarevac, Serbia) had 14 kills on 28 swings, good for a .393 hitting percentage. Junior outside hitter Emma Racila (Fort Myers, Fla.) contributed 10 kills and hit .370.
Senior setter Chandra Lefever (Fort Morgan, Col.) had 27 assists and six digs and sophomore libero Holly Youngquist (Estero, Fla.) added 10 digs.
In the tightly contested first set, the Eagles broke out to an 11-7 lead after a three-point run, which included a kill by Racila and a kill and an ace by Simic. Pepperdine didn't tie the set until 15-15 on a kill by Kristen Seaton. It was still tied at 18-18 when the Waves then rolled off four straight points. The Waves closed out the set on a kill and a block by their middle blocker. Pepperdine had a .314-.278 hitting edge in the first set.
Pepperdine came out strong in the second set, as each of their first five servers scored points off their serve. With the Waves holding an 11-5 lead, the Eagles would get no closer than four points the rest of the set. The Waves outhit FGCU .357-.167 in the second set.
The third set went back and forth for a while and was tied at 13-13. The momentum then suddenly shifted the Waves' way as they scored 12 of the next 14 points to end the match. The Waves had a .405-.138 hitting advantage in the third set.
The match was part of the end of a three-day, four-team tournament that Pepperdine co-hosted with USC. Pepperdine finished second after winning two of three matches. The Women of Troy won the tournament with three home victories, including a three-set win over Northern Arizona on Saturday.
The Eagles now have three days to prepare for their conference opener at Stetson. FGCU will take on the Hatters in DeLand, Fla. on Sept. 8 at 6 p.m. to open A-Sun Conference play.