Florida Gulf Coast
9/7/2013 | Tallahassee, Fla. | Attendance: 102
|Florida Gulf Coast||15||26||24||
|Stats at a Glance||OSU||FGCU|
Florida Gulf Coast
#15 Florida State
9/7/2013 | Tallahassee, Fla. | Attendance: 1250
|Florida Gulf Coast||17||13||20||
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||FS|
- 14||Nicole Walch
- 26||Sarah Wickstrom
- 11||Nicole Walch
- 4||Sarah Burrington
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Continuing a difficult season-opening stretch, the FGCU volleyball team dropped a pair of matches on Saturday to No. 23 Ohio State, 3-0, and No. 15 Florida State, 3-0, as part of the Seminole Invitational.
After losing its first set of the day, 25-15, to the Buckeyes, the Eagles battled in the closing two sets, 28-26 and 26-24, but ultimately were shut out. In the nightcap against the host Seminoles, the Eagles dropped their three sets by scores of 25-17, 25-13 and 25-20.
"The team made major strides today," said head coach Dave Nichols. "We played two great teams, some of the matchups were rough for us, but we ended up a much better team by the end of the day."
Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS/Marshall) led the Eagles attack against Ohio State as she was the only player to reach double-figure kills with 11. Christine Pinder (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS) added eight, and Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City HS) and Marlene Moeller (Ludinghausen, Germany/Pascal Gymnasium) each contributed six. Gigi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS) had 30 assists and three services.
Atlantic Sun Conference Preseason Libero of the Year, Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind./Wapahani HS), had a team-best six digs for the Eagles, while Pinder contributed five and Holm and Barnes chipped in with four.
The Eagles trailed the Buckeyes by only one, 15-14, in the first set, but the Big Ten member finished the match on a 10-1 run to win, 25-15. In the second match, FGCU held a 20-17 lead – tied for the largest lead by either team all set – following a Holm kill, but the Buckeyes fought back and the teams traded points before Ohio State earned the win. Similar to the second set, both squads went point-for-point in set three, with neither holding a lead larger than four. The Eagles nearly closed it out as they maintained a 24-21 edge after a Moeller kill, but the Buckeyes closed the game on a five-point run to complete the sweep.
Against the Seminoles, Barnes was a dominant force, recording a match-high 14 kills – five more than anyone else on the court and seven more than any Eagle. Holm added seven, while Pinder and Karina Mambuca (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast HS) recorded four. Meyer was again a steady force in the middle, serving up a game-high 26 assists.
Pinder paced the defensive effort with another match-high by the Eagles as she had 11 digs, with Masters adding seven and Barnes four. Mambuca contributed a match-best four blocks.
FGCU, which is now 0-5 after beginning its season by facing off against some of the best teams in the nation, returns to the court Sunday to conclude its weekend in the state capital. The Green and Blue will serve it up against Florida A&M at 1 p.m. in search of its first win of the season before kicking off its home schedule on Tuesday night at 7 versus USF.
2013-14 volleyball season tickets are now available by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets. Season tickets are $35 for adults and $17 for youth (ages 3-12). Single-game tickets can also be purchased for $6 per adult and $3 for youth. Groups of 10+ can receive a discounted rate of $3 per person. FGCU students and faculty/staff are admitted for free with a valid University ID.