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@FGCU_VB Earns Road Win Over Bethune-Cookman in Nonconference Action
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – In its first away contest in three weeks, the Florida Gulf Coast University women’s volleyball team defeated Bethune-Cookman 3-0 in Daytona Beach on Tuesday, Oct. 1. With the win at Moore Gymnasium, the Eagles improve to 5-10 on the season, while the Wildcats drop to 2-16.
“I really liked the girls’ mental approach tonight,” explained head coach Dave Nichols. “The team was really focused, they made sure to take care of details and they played with a high level of intelligence. It is sometimes difficult to play well after such a long bus ride but they showed a lot of maturity tonight and it worked well for us.”
The Eagles defeated the Wildcats in three sets with an impressive .366 attack percentage, while holding Bethune-Cookman to an opponent season-low .084.
Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City High School) led the Eagle offense in Daytona Beach with 15 kills on the night, while Christine Pinder (Gainseville, Fla./Buchholz High School) added 11 kills and recorded an attack percentage of .389. GiGi Meyer (Gainseville, Fla./Buchholz High School) improved the offensive effort with 29 assists through three sets.
Defensively, the Eagles saw 13 digs from libero Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind./Wapahani High School), while Karina Mambuca (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast High School) led all players with four blocks.
The Green and Blue took a quick 3-0 lead to open the match on kills from Pinder and Barnes and a service ace by Mambuca. The team extended its advantage to 8-2 with a strong attack presence from Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers High School) before Bethune-Cookman was forced to call timeout to stop the FGCU surge. Three-consecutive points after the timeout helped FGCU take control of the set. The Eagles increased their lead to double double-digits on a strong block from Pinder and went ahead, 20-10, on a Wildcat error before kills from Mambuca and Pinder finished the set at 25-13.
The Eagles maintained an attack percentage of .355 in set one, while holding the Wildcats to -.036 and forcing seven BC-U errors.
The Wildcats and Eagles battled for the first four points of the second set before the Green and Blue went ahead 12-4 on a six-point streak. FGCU maintained an eight-point lead through the set with help from five Barnes kills. After leading 20-12, the Eagles scored five-consecutive points to earn the win, 25-12. The team recorded a game-high attack percentage of .529 in set two with just two attack errors and 11 kills.
The Eagles opened set three with a kill from Mambuca and went ahead 5-1 with two Wildcat errors and two-straight kills from Barnes. Two service aces from Meyer gave the Eagles a 9-4 lead, but FGCU was unable to take complete control of the set. Bethune-Cookman challenged the Eagles with three-consecutive points to bring the score to 11-10 and stayed within three points by benefiting from several Eagle errors. The Eagles regained control when kills by Pinder and Barnes gave the Green and Blue a six-point advantage. The Wildcats challenged the Eagles to cut the deficit to just four points but FGCU maintained the lead and earned a 25-21 win.
Scores of 25-13, 25-12 and 25-21 gave the Eagles their second-straight three-set win and moved the team to 5-10 on the season.
The Eagles will resume Atlantic Sun action on Friday, Oct. 4 when they travel to DeLand, Fla. to take on first-place Stetson University. The Hatters currently top the conference standings with an undefeated 4-0 record. The first set at the Edmunds Center is scheduled for 6 p.m.
2013-14 volleyball tickets are 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.