@FGCU_VB Falls to No. 3 Penn State In Front of Record Crowd
Saturday, September 14, 2013 | by Jamie Church (@jlchurch)
FGCU faced No. 3 Penn State in front of a record crowd of over 2,000
FGCU faced No. 3 Penn State in front of a record crowd of over 2,000
#3 Penn State (6-1)
Florida Gulf Coast (1-9)
9/14/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 2006
Penn State252525 -- --
Florida Gulf Coast81517 -- --
Stats at a GlancePSUFGCU
Hitting Pct..381.000
Total Attacks84101
Statistical LeadersPSUFGCU
KillsSlay - 9
Courtney - 9
AssistsHancock - 31
MEYER - 20
AcesHancock - 3
DigsGonzalez - 11
BlocksSlay - 4
HOLM - 1

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University women’s volleyball team was defeated, 3-0, by No. 3 Penn State Saturday, Sept. 14 at Alico Arena.  With the loss, the Eagles fall to 1-9 on the season, while the Nittany Lions improve to 6-1.  The finale of the 2013 Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites Volleyball Classic was played in front of a program-record crowd of over 2,000 fans.

Senior Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City High School) led the Eagles with nine kills on the night, while GiGi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz High School) enabled the offense with 20 assists through three sets. Christine Pinder (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz High School) added six kills for the Eagles and led the defense with 14 digs on the night.

The Lions took an early 5-0 lead in set one and dominated play with a strong attack percentage.  The Eagles earned their first point on a Lion error to cut the scoring streak but fell behind 9-1 on three errors. While trailing by eight, Karina Mambuca (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast High School) recorded the Eagles’ first kill to spark the crowd. 

The Eagles settled in and saw two-consecutive kills from Pinder to bring the score to 13-4.  However, the Lions continued to maintain the advantage and consistently increased their lead until they took the win, 25-8.

FGCU began set two with two quick points on Lion errors.  The Lions responded to tie the game but the Eagles went ahead, 3-2, on a kill from Barnes.  The teams traded several points before Penn State regained control of the set.  The Lions took a two-point lead, which they maintained through the majority of the stanza.  With the score at 18-15 in favor of the Nittany Lions, the visiting team scored six-consecutive points to seal the win and went ahead 2-0 on a 25-15 set win.

The Eagles increased their level of play again in set three and challenged the Lions for all of their points.  Barnes sparked the Eagles with a kill to begin the set before the Green and Blue added points on kills from Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River High School) and Pinder.  The Eagles maintained a slight advantage with a 6-4 lead on another Barnes kill.

The Lions responded with four-consecutive points to take a 9-6 lead but the Eagles acontinued to battle.  FGCU tied Penn State tied at 11 on a Barnes kill and continued to challenge the Lions for points.  Penn State pulled back the momentum with four-straight points and held the advantage through the remainder of the match.  By outscoring FGCU 10-6 to conclude the set, the Lions earned a 25-17 win and secured a match victory, 3-0.

As a team, the Eagles recorded 24 kills on the night, with 24 assists, 33 digs and two blocks.  Penn State tallied 39 kills, 37 assists, 42 digs and 10 team blocks during their final match in Fort Myers.

The bout with one of the nation’s top teams concluded the Eagles early non-conference slate.  FGCU will host Jacksonville next Friday, Sept. 20 to begin Atlantic Sun competition.  The first serve is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Alico Arena.

Following the completion of the 2013 Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites Volleyball Classic, an All-Tournament Team was voted on by the tournament’s coaches.  Named to the team were Megan Courtney of Penn State, Micah Hancock of Penn State, Lindsey Gosh of Marquette, Elizabeth Koberstein of Marquette and Whitney Masters of FGCU.  Shelbee Berringer of the University of Central Arkansas was named the Most Valuable Libero, while Katie Slay of Penn State earned the Most Valuable Player Award.

2013-14 volleyball 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.