FGCU Volleyball Splits Opening Day of NCCU Tournament
Friday, August 26, 2011
Elon (2-0)
Florida Gulf Coast (0-1)
8/26/2011 | Durham, NC | Attendance: 0
Florida Gulf Coast1925251812
Stats at a GlanceELONFGCU
Hitting Pct..175.215
Total Attacks160144
Statistical LeadersELONFGCU
KillsCarly Ledbetter - 12
HOLM - 13
AssistsMegan McMahon - 30
AcesCarly Ledbetter - 5
HOLM - 3
DigsAli Deatsch - 23
BlocksCaroline Lemke - 2
Cali Estes - 2

DURHAM, N.C. - The Florida Gulf Coast University volleyball team split a pair of matches Friday afternoon at the NCCU Tournament with a 3-2 (19-25, 25-17, 25-22, 18-25, 12-15) loss to Elon and a 3-1 (20-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-16) win over the Camels of Campbell at McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium. The Green and Blue are now 1-1 overall on the young season.

In the first game of the day, FGCU jumped on Elon early with a quick 13-10 spurt, highlighted by a pair of kills from freshman Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River HS). The Phoenix quickly responded with an 11-3 run to grab a 20-15 advantage. A kill from Mesner and a pair of Elon errors pulled the Green and Blue to within three points (21-18), but Phoenix went on to hold off the Eagles to win game one 25-19. Elon hit .167, while holding FGCU to a .059 hitting percentage.

Game two went back and forth before sophomore setter Camil Dominguez (Santo Domingo, D.R./Santa Teresita) picked up a service ace (19-16) that forced the Phoenix to burn a timeout. A Dominguez service error cut the FGCU lead down to two points (19-17), but the Eagles used a 6-0 run to win the second game 25-17. Elon hit just .000 in the second game compared to FGCU’s .242.

FGCU fell behind 21-19 in game three after a kill from Elon’s Chanelle Smith. The Green and Blue fought back and wrapped up game three by employing a 6-1 run to win the set 25-22. The FGCU run was highlighted by a pair of kills from both freshman Jill Hopper (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown HS) and senior Jelena Simic (Lazarevac, Serbia/Kolubara Technical/Seward County CC).

The Eagles continued their solid play in the fourth set as a kill from Simic helped FGCU grab a 17-16 lead. A 4-0 Elon run gave them a 20-17 lead and forced FGCU head coach Dave Nichols to call a timeout. The Phoenix continued their strong play, winning game four 25-18 to tie the match at 2-2. Elon jumped out to an 8-5 lead over FGCU early in game five, capped by a kill from Carly Ledbetter. The Phoenix went on to hold off the Eagles to win the fifth set 15-12 and win the match 3-2.

Sophomore Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS/Marshall) led the team with her first double-double as an Eagle, with 13 kills and 13 digs, while freshman Jill Hopper (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown HS) recorded a double-double with 11 kills and 10 digs in her first collegiate match. Senior Jelena Simic (Lazarevac, Serbia/Kolubara Technical/Seward County CC) chipped in with nine kills and 12 digs, while Dominguez recorded a team-high 35 assists and freshman Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind./Wapahani HS) had team-high 15 digs.

In the final match on day one of the tournament, the Eagles picked up their first win of the 2011 campaign with a 3-1 (20-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-16) defeat of former A-Sun foe Campbell.

Trailing the Eagles in the opening set 13-11, Campbell (1-1) used an 8-2 run to take a commanding 19-15 edge before taking the set 25-20. The Camels .474 hitting percentage hurt the Green and Blue, who hit -.042.

FGCU raced out to a 15-11 lead in the third set after freshman Liga Strautniece (Riga, Latvia/Rigas Anglu Gimmazija) blasted a kill. The Eagles went on to hold off the Camels and win the set 25-20 to take a commanding 2-1 lead in the match.

In the fourth set, the Eagles dominated the Camels, taking the set 25-16 to win the match 3-1. FGCU hit .364 as a team, while holding Campbell to a .241 hitting percentage in the final set.

Brittany Muse (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto County HS) led FGCU with 17 kills. Hopper finished with her second career double-double (12 kills, 10 digs), while freshman Gigi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS) came up big in her second collegiate match with 40 assists.

FGCU will play their third and final match at the NCCU Tournament on Saturday when they take on tournament host NCCU at 1 p.m.