FORt MYERS, Fla. - The Florida Gulf Coast University women’s volleyball team earned its 10th victory of the season Tuesday night when it topped Stetson 3-1 (25-10, 18-25, 25-15, 25-14) at Alico Arena.
FGCU (10-7, 9-2) has now won four consecutive matches.
The win was the Eagles’ second over Stetson (1-17, 0-11) this season. FGCU swept the Hatters September 8 in Deland, Florida.
The Eagles jumped out to an early 6-2 lead in the first game prompting a Stetson timeout. An ace by sophomore Lara Metz (Land O’Lakes, Fla.) put the Eagles up 9-3 and FGCU stretched that lead to 11-3 after back-to-back kills by junior Jacqueline Cowden (Danville, Calif.). Consecutive kills by junior Emma Racila (Fort Myers, Fla.) put the Eagles up 17-9 and Racila gave the Eagles a 25-10 game one victory with a kill later on.
Game two started out neck-and-neck as the teams went back and forth and were tied as late as 15 apiece. Stetson took the advantage after that however as they opened a 21-16 lead on the Eagles. Sophomore Anna Wagner (Lincoln, Neb.) blasted a kill that cut the Hatter lead to 22-18 but the Eagles could not muster any more points and lost the second game 25-18. Stetson outhit FGCU .306 to .190 in game two.
The Eagles never trailed in the third game. A kill by Wagner put FGCU up 5-3 early and the Eagles pushed that lead to 8-3 before Stetson called a timeout. Back-to-back kills from Racila put FGCU up 13-9 and the Eagles would rip off three more points before the Hatters called another timeout trailing 16-9. Another kill by Wagner put FGCU up 21-12 and the Eagles eventually won the third game 25-15 after a hitting error by Stetson. FGCU bounced back to hit .344 in game three.
Game four was never in doubt as FGCU jumped out to a 7-2 lead thanks to a kill by junior Jelena Simic (Lazarevec, Serbia). Cowden drilled a kill that put FGCU up 10-4 and senior Ashley Yance (Fort Myers, Fla.) put the Eagles up 19-10 with an ace. Senior Chandra Lefever (Fort Morgan, Col.) put FGCU up 22-11 with a kill and later ended the match with another kill. FGCU won game four 25-14 despite hitting just .167 as a team.
Racila and Simic each had 14 kills for the Eagles while Wagner (12) and Cowden (11) also registered double digit kills. Sophomore Holly Youngquist (Estero, Fla.) had a match-high 24 digs while Lefever had a match-high 49 assists.
North Florida will visit Alico Arena on Friday to play the Eagles at 7 p.m. while Jacksonville comes to town on Saturday at 3 p.m. to take on FGCU. FGCU and Jacksonville are tied for second place in the Atlantic Sun Conference, two games behind A-Sun leader Lipscomb.