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Eagles Handle NCCU to Wrapup NCCU Tournament
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|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||NCCU|
KALAO - 2
DURHAM, N.C. - The Florida Gulf Coast University volleyball team picked up their second win of the season on Saturday afternoon at the NCCU Tournament with a 3-1 (23-25, 25-12, 25-13, 28-26) win over tournament host NCCU at McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium.
Freshman Jill Hopper (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown HS) led FGCU (2-1 overall) with career-highs in kills (16) and service aces (7), while freshman Gigi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS) continued her strong play with a career-high 47 assists.
NCCU (0-3) took a 12-5 lead early in game one after an attack error on Hopper. The Eagles battled back to get within on point (23-22) after a North Carolina Central attack error and kills from sophomore Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS/Marshall) and junior Brittany Muse (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto County HS). Kills from Kalin Russell and Dayanna Arrufat helped NCCU hold off the Green and Blue to win the set 25-23.
FGCU jumped out to an 18-9 lead in game two, thanks to three aces, one kill and a block from Hopper. The Eagles continued their dominance in the set extending their lead to 24-12 after back-to-back-to-back kills from Muse, Hopper and freshman Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River HS). Holm gave FGCU the 25-12 win with a service ace. The Eagles hit .565 in the second game compared to NCCU’s .000.
Hopper tallied five kills and three aces, basically dominating the third set as she led the Eagles to a 25-13 win. FGCU jumped out to a quick 19-9 lead after a kill from Hopper. North Carolina Central scored back-to-back points to cut the Green and Blue’s lead to 19-11, but the Eagles outscored NCCU 6-2 to take to game 25-13 and grab a commanding 2-1 lead in the match.
The fourth set was a back and forth battle as the teams fought to a 24-24 tie after an Arrufat kill. A Holm kill gave the Eagles match point (26-25), but a setting error on FGCU drew the set even for the 14th time. The Green and Blue went on to win the set (26-24) and the match (3-1) after a NCCU service error and a kill by freshman Liga Strautniece (Riga, Latvia/Rigas Anglu Gimmazija).
Hopper led the team with 16 kills, while adding eight digs and seven service aces. Muse and Holm chipped in with 14 kills and 10 kills, respectively. Meyer had a match-high and career-high 47 assists and freshman Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind./Wapahani HS) had match-high 12 digs.
FGCU will play their first home matches of the 2011 season next weekend as a part of the 2nd Annual FGCU Homewood Suites Volleyball Invitational (Sept. 2-3). The Eagles will open with the No. 2 USC Women of Troy on Friday, September 2 at 7:30 p.m., before facing UCF (1:30 p.m.) and Furman (7 p.m.) on Saturday, September 3.
All-Tournament Passes ($10 - adults; $5 - youth) can be purchased in person at the Alico Arena ticket office. Single-game tickets can be purchased in person, by calling (239) 590-7145 or by going online at www.FGCUathletics.com/tickets. The FGCU ticket office is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday.
2011 NCCU Hilton/RTP Tournament All-Tournament Team
Jordan Reaves, Campbell
Mianna Armstrong, Hampton
Brittany Muse, Florida Gulf Coast
Dayanna Arrufat, North Carolina Central
Caroline Lemke, Elon
Jzima-Malaki Kalao, North Carolina Central
Most Valuable Player: Carly Ledbetter, Elon