@FGCU_VB Falls to Jacksonville in Atlantic Sun Opener
Friday, September 20, 2013 | by Jamie Church (@jlchurch)
Play Video Karina Mambuca led the Eagles with 10 digs on the night
Karina Mambuca led the Eagles with 10 digs on the night
Jacksonville (10-1 (1-0 ASun))
Florida Gulf Coast (1-10 (0-1 ASun))
9/20/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 482
Jacksonville252525 -- --
Florida Gulf Coast202019 -- --
Stats at a GlanceJUFGCU
Hitting Pct..300.180
Total Attacks110100
Statistical LeadersJUFGCU
KillsROMAN - 13
AssistsCOURTNEY - 41
MEYER - 27
DigsMILLER - 13

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University women’s volleyball team opened Atlantic Sun action with a 3-0 setback to Jacksonville University on Friday, Sept. 20 at Alico Arena.  With the loss, the Eagles fall to 1-10 on the season and begin Atlantic Sun action with a record of 0-1.  The Dolphins improve to 10-1 on the year and begin A-Sun play atop the standings.

“We played very, very tight tonight,” said head coach Dave Nichols.  “I was surprised because we had played really good ball last weekend.  Our serve receive was broken down, which made it impossible to run an offense.  Jacksonville did a great job blocking, but we were out of our system all night so we didn’t put a lot of pressure on them.  I’m disappointed in how we played tonight; we need to regroup tomorrow and stay positive and try to play better.  Volleyball is all about the first contact and our first contact tonight was rough.”

The Dolphins led the Eagles in kills, 48-34, through three sets.  JU also held the advantage in hitting percentage with .300, while holding the Eagles to .180.  Christine Pinder (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz High School) paced the Eagles offensively with 11 kills on the night, while senior Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City High School) added 10.  Junior GiGi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz High School) aided the offense with 27 assists against JU.  Senior Karina Mambuca (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast High School) and junior Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind/ Wapahani  High School) each added 10 digs to help the FGCU defense.

The Dolphins took a quick lead to begin the match with two kills and a service ace.  While down 10-5, the Green and Blue rallied for six of the next seven points to come within one point but the team was unable to cut the deficit.  A five-point streak by the Dolphins secured a lead that JU would maintain through the end of the set.  A kill and a service ace in favor of JU gave the Dolphins a 25-20 win in set one.  The first set saw four kills from Pinder, while Meyer added nine assists and Masters produced a team-high eight digs.

The Eagles’ hitting percentage struggled in set two and gave way for the Dolphins to score eight points on FGCU miscues.  The set began as a challenge between the teams as the score tied four times in the first seven points for each team.  FGCU fell behind on a three-point rally but responded to tie the game at 15 on a kill by Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River High School).  The Dolphins regained control of the game and held onto the lead through the end of the set.  JU took the win, 25-20 and moved ahead 2-0 in the match.

The Eagles responded with stronger play in set three and amassed a hitting percentage of .357 but could not take control of the set.  Jacksonville maintained control and led the Eagles throughout the set, with their largest advantage being 20-12.  The Eagles responded from that setback with a series of points but could not stop JU from running away with the lead.  Jacksonville took set three, 25-19 and edged the Eagles 3-0 in the match.

Although they ultimately fell in straight sets, the Green and Blue challenged JU with points scored on set point on two occasions and fought through the end of each set.  On the night, the Eagles fell by a deficit of just 16 points in the complete match.

The Eagles have a quick turnaround as they host the University of North Florida Saturday night at Alico Arena.  The first set is slated for 7 p.m.

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.