FORT MYERS, Fla. - Senior Caitlin Shawver (Lauderdale by the Sea, Fla./Northeast HS/Barry) recorded a game-high 13 kills and senior Chelsea Lyles (Colorado Springs, Col./Harrison HS/Western Nebraska CC) finished with 11 kills and nine total blocks as the FGCU volleyball team fell to Mercer, 3-2 (17-25, 22-25, 25-17, 25-20, 11-15) in A-Sun play on Saturday night at Alico Arena.
With the loss the Eagles fall to 4-15 overall (1-4 A-Sun), while the Bears improve to 10-14 (4-2 A-Sun) on the season.
Holly Youngquist (Estero, Fla./Evangelical Christian) racked up a game-high 21 digs in the loss. Shawver recorded a double-double with 13 kills and 17 digs. Lyles added five digs and 11 kills to go with her season-high nine blocks. Lyles’ nine blocks rank her tied-7th in the FGCU record books for total blocks in a single match. Sophomore Brittany Muse (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto County HS) racked up 11 kills, while freshman setter Camil Dominguez (Santo Domingo, D.R./Santa Teresita) registered 35 assists, nine digs and six kills.
Libby Hansch and Aimee Frutchey each had 13 kills for Mercer, while Frutchey nearly picked up a double-double with nine digs.
The Bears dominated the first two sets, but the resilient FGCU squad would not go down without a fight. In the third set the Eagles shot out to an early 12-2 lead, highlighted by a pair of McNally kills, blocks by Lyles and Dominguez and some great serving from junior Lara Metz (Land O'Lakes, Fla./Hudson HS). Mercer would make the score 16-10 after an FGCU attack error, but a pair of kills and a block assist from Lyles and Dominguez pushed the Blue and Green’s advantage to 19-10. The Eagles would continue their solid play and went on to take the game 25-17.
In the fourth set, FGCU outplayed the Bears and took the game, 25-20. The Eagles jumped out to a quick 11-7 to start the game. An 11-5 run by Mercer gave the Bears the lead (18-16), before FGCU got a pair of solo blocks from Lyles, a pair of MU attack errors and a kill from Emma Racila (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot/College of Charleston) to grab a 21-18 advantage. The Eagles went on to outscore Mercer 4-2 to wrap up the set (25-20) and tie the match at 2-2.
In the final frame, the Bears took an early 11-6 lead on a kill by Charlotte Harris, but FGCU would use a 4-1 run to cut the margin to 12-10 and force Mercer to burn a timeout. The Bears closeed out the set by outscoring the Eagles 3-1 (15-11) to win the match and pick up their fourth conference victory.
The Eagles will be back in action in a couple of weeks when they hit the road to face USC Upstate (Oct. 29) and ETSU (Oct. 30) in a pair of A-Sun matchups. FGCU will land back at home on November 5 when they host the defending A-Sun champs Lipscomb at Alico Arena at 7 p.m.