Volleyball Drops a Pair of Matches to Wrap Up Rocket Classic
Saturday, September 08, 2012 | by Mike Hill (@mike_hill84)
Photo Credit: Ron Irby
Photo Credit: Ron Irby
Florida Gulf Coast (4-5)
Memphis (2-7)
9/8/2012 | Toledo, OH | Attendance: 78
Florida Gulf Coast192027 -- --
Memphis252529 -- --
Stats at a GlanceFGCUMEMPHIS
Hitting Pct..019.174
Total Attacks104121
Statistical LeadersFGCUMEMPHIS
KillsMESNER - 7
AssistsMEYER - 16
LOUIE - 47
AcesMEYER - 1
DigsMASTERS - 12
BlocksMESNER - 7

TOLEDO, Ohio - The Florida Gulf Coast University volleyball team dropped a pair of matches Saturday at the University of Toledo’s Rocket Classic with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 29-27) loss to Memphis and a 3-1 (26-24, 19-25, 25-10, 26-24) loss to tournament host Toledo at Savage Arena. The Green and Blue are now 4-6 overall on the season.

The Tigers (2-7) opened the match with a 14-6 run, capped an attack error from the Eagles. After a kill from senior Brittany Muse (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto County HS) cut Memphis’ advantage to 14-7, Maja Kostic forced the second FGCU timeout of the set when she served up an ace to give the Tigers their largest lead of the frame, 16-7. FGCU fought hard to get back into the set, getting within four points twice, but the Tigers went on to take the first set 25-19.

FGCU got out to a quick start in the second frame (8-4), thanks to a pair of kills from sophomore Jill Hopper (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown HS) and five Memphis attack errors. The Tiger offense started to heat up and Memphis was able to tie the set at 10-10. The teams then traded points until Memphis went on a 4-0 run to take a 19-15 lead. Leading the Eagles 21-18, the Tigers used a 4-2 spurt to take a 25-20 second set win.

The third set was much closer than the first two, as the teams were within a four-point spread the entire set. The Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to a pair of kills, only to see the Eagles employ a 7-3 run to take a 7-5 advantage. The Tigers responded in a big way, using a run of their own to retake the lead 14-11. Memphis held a pair of three point advantages, but the Green and Blue fought back to regain the advantage at 18-17. Following a kill and a FGCU attack error, the Tigers scored five of the next seven points in the match to earn match point (24-21). The Eagles didn't go way easily as they rolled off four straight points, highlighted by a kill from junior Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS/Marshall), to even the match. The Eagles proceeded to fight off three more Tiger match points before Altrese Hawkins ended the set with her 17th and 18th kills of the match, giving Memphis the 29-27 win in the set and a 3-0 victory in the match.

Hopper and classmate Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River HS) led the team with seven kills each. Mesner, who earned a spot on the Rocket Classic All-Tournament team, also tallied a career-high seven blocks, which rank her tied-8th in the FGCU record books for singe-match assist blocks. Holm chipped in with five kills, five digs and four blocks, while sophomore Gigi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS) recorded a team-high 16 assists and Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind./Wapahani HS) tallied 12 digs.

In their second match on the final day of the tournament, the Eagles fell 3-1 (26-24, 19-25, 25-10, 26-24) to tournament host Toledo.

UT (4-5) hit .229 as a team on Saturday as three Rockets registered 10 or more kills in the four-set win. Becca Reidy and Sondra Parys led UT with 16 kills and 13 kills, respectively, while McCall Paynter added a match-high 20 digs for Toledo. Adria Pryor ran the Rocket offense and finished with a match-high 51 assists.

FGCU finished with a .142 hitting percentage in the match. Hopper registered her first double-double of the season with 12 kills and 13 digs. Holm finished with 10 kills and a pair of blocks and Christine Pinder (Gainesville, Fla./ Buchholz HS/Houston/Central Florida CC) totaled 9 kills to go with nine digs. Meyer nearly missed a double-double with 21 assists and eight digs, while Masters racked up 18 digs and five assists.

The Eagles will be back in action in 10 days (Sept. 18) when they head to Tampa to take on BIG EAST foe USF at The Corral. FGCU leads the all-time series 3-1, including wins in 2007, 2010 and 2011. The Green and Blue swept the Bulls 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-19) in the last meeting between the two teams on Oct. 12, 2011.