BOCA RATON, Fla. - Despite winning the first game, the Florida Gulf Coast University volleyball team lost a non-conference match to Florida Atlantic 3-1 (25-19, 19-25, 20-25, 16-25) Tuesday night at FAU Arena.
Freshman Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City HS) led FGCU (2-10 overall) with a career-high 16 kills.
FGCU jumped out to a 8-5 lead early in game one thanks to a kill from Barnes. The Owls (8-7 overall) battled back to take the lead (15-13) after a kill from Georgia Robinson. The Blue and Green would not falter as they would use a 5-1 run (18-16), highlighted by a kill and a pair of service aces from Barnes and a block assist from senior Jacqueline Cowden (Danville, Calif./Temple/ Monte Vista HS) and freshman Camil Dominguez (Santo Domingo, D.R./Santa Teresita), forcing FAU to burn a timeout. The Eagles closed out the game on a 7-3 run, including scoring six of the last seven points, to take the set 25-19. Senior Chelsea Lyles’ (Colorado Springs, Col./Western Nebraska CC/Harrison HS) kill closed out game one for FGCU.
The Blue and Green took and early 3-1 lead in game two, but FAU used an 11-6 run to take a 14-7 lead and force FGCU to call a timeout. After the timeout, the Eagles responded with a quick 4-0 run (14-11), highlighted by kills from Barnes, Lyles and senior Caitlin Shawver (Lauderdale by the Sea, Fla./Barry/Northeast HS), prompting the Owls to call for timeout. FAU would go on to outscore FGCU 11-8 to pick up the game two win, 25-19.
The Eagles jumped ahead 13-11 in game three, but back-to-back errors by the Eagles made the score 13-13. After trading points (15-15), FAU used a 10-5 to close out the Eagles and take the set 25-20.
The Eagles fell behind 21-15 in game four. A kill by Dominguez got FGCU within five points at 21-16 but FAU closed out the set on a 4-0 run to win the match.
Barnes finished with 16 kills and five digs while Lyles and sophomore Lindsey Childs (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./South Plantation HS) each chipped in with six. Dominguez had a game-high 36 assists while junior Holly Youngquist (Estero, Fla./Evangelical Christian) registered a team-high 15 digs.
The Eagles return to action this weekend when they travel to Nashville, Tennessee to face A-Sun foes Belmont and Lipscomb in a pair of matches. FGCU will face the Bruins on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 3 p.m. and will take on the defending Atlantic Sun champs Lipscomb on Sunday, Sept. 26 at 2 p.m. With the league approving single round-robin play for regular season matches this year, FGCU’s road matches against Belmont and Lipscomb in September will not count in conference standings. Last season A-Sun teams played a double-round robin format. In 2011 the conference will have a round robin-and-a-half with divisional play.
FGCU’s next home tilt will be October 15 when they host the Owls of Kennesaw State at Alico Arena at 6 p.m.