JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Sophomore Brittany Muse (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto County HS) racked up a career-high and game-high 23 kills and hit .317 as the Eagles dropped their 2010 A-Sun Conference opener to Jacksonville 3-2 (25-21, 24-26, 25-18, 23-25, 16-18) Friday evening at Swisher Gymnasium.
FGCU (3-12, 0-1 A-Sun) finished with a .216 hitting percentage and used a match-high 78 digs to frustrate the Dolphin offense but could not hold on to win the match.
JU (9-8, 1-0 A-Sun), which has won four consecutive matches, only hit .193 in the contest but tallied 13 aces and seven blocks while finding a way to pull out tight sets in the second, fourth and fifth.
Muse finished the match with 23 kills and nine digs. Senior Chelsea Lyles (Colorado Springs, Col./Harrison HS/Western Nebraska CC) tallied a career-high 14 kills (.462 hitting percentage) and added a pair of blocks. Senior Adrianne McNally (Howell, Mich./Pinckney HS) picked up her first collegiate double-double with 14 digs and 10 kills. Freshman setter Camil Dominguez (Santo Domingo, D.R./Santa Teresita) also registered a double-double with 11 digs and a career-high 52 assists, while freshman Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City HS) added 11 kills and senior Caitlin Shawver (Lauderdale by the Sea, Fla./Northeast HS/Barry) finished with 10 digs. Junior libero Holly Youngquist (Estero, Fla./Evangelical Christian) racked up a match-high 20 digs.
In the first set, FGCU jumped out to an 11-8 lead after a kill by Lyles. Both teams would trade points until a pair of attack errors by the Dolphins gave the Eagles a 21-15 advantage. The Blue and Green held off JU and went on to win the set, 25-21, after a kill by Barnes and another Jacksonville attack error closed out the game.
In the second game, FGCU shot out to an early 6-2 lead on a kill by Barnes, but the Dolphins would battle back to tie the score (15-15) after an ace by Aidan Yeager. The score would be tied on seven more occasions (the last coming at 24-24) until an attack error by the Eagles and a kill by Brittany Lehman gave JU the 26-24 win and evened the match, 1-1, heading into the break.
In the third set, FGCU opened an early 4-1 lead on a kill by Lyles but the Dolphins would even the score (5-5) after an attack error by McNally. The teams would exchange points until the Blue and Green used a 7-1 run, capped by an attack error by the Dolphins, to open up a 13-9 advantage. JU cut the deficit to 13-12 with a service ace, but the Eagles would answer with an 8-1 run, capped by a kill from Lyles, to take a 21-13 lead. Both teams would trade points the rest of the way until a kill by Barnes gave FGCU the game (25-18) and a 2-1 lead in the match.
In the fourth stanza, JU grabbed an early 5-0 lead after an attack error by Muse and went on to increase the margin to 9-3. The Eagles fought back to even the score (13-13) after a kill by Jacqueline Cowden (Danville, Calif./Monte Vista HS/Temple). The teams would go through four ties until the Eagles used a 2-0 run to take a 19-17 advantage, causing the Dolphins to call a timeout. Jacksonville responded with an 8-4 run to win the set (25-23) and forced the critical fifth set.
In the final frame, the Eagles took an early 4-1 lead on a service error by the Dolphins, but JU would use a 3-1 run to cut the margin to 5-4. FGCU answered Jacksonville’s run with a 3-0 run of their own, capped by a kill by Lyles, to open up an 8-4 advantage at the half-way point. The Dolphins clawed their way back to tie the game at 13-13. The score would be tied on three more occasions until an attack error by Muse and a kill by JU’s outside hitter gave JU the match (18-16).
FGCU will continue A-Sun action at the UNF Arena as they take on North Florida on Saturday at 3 p.m. The contest can be seen live on ASun.TV and live stats will be available at UNFOspreys.com.