Florida Gulf Coast
(8-11, 5-2 A-Sun)
(13-6, 7-0 A-Sun)
10/12/2013 | Johnson City, Tenn. | Attendance: 308
|Florida Gulf Coast||16||20||16||
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||ETSU|
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The FGCU women’s volleyball team dropped a 3-0 decision at ETSU Saturday afternoon at Brooks Gym. Scores of 25-16, 25-20 and 25-16 pushed the Bucs past the Eagles and enabled ETSU to maintain sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Sun. With the loss, the Eagles’ seven-game win streak is snapped and the team falls to 8-11 on the season with a 5-2 mark in A-Sun action. The Bucs improve to 13-6 with a perfect 7-0 conference record.
“ETSU played really well and put a ton of pressure on us,” explained head coach Dave Nichols of the loss. “They were very strong and really got us out of our game. It was one of those days where we were fighting but not playing clean volleyball and we let points get away from us. We need to credit ETSU, they were prepared and they took away everything we were trying to do. It was a long, hard weekend; we wanted to come home with two wins, but considering the circumstances we are happy with a 1-1 trip.”
The Eagles struggled offensively at ETSU with an attack percentage of just .088, while allowing the Bucs to hit .283 and record 46 kills on the day.
Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River High School) led the team with 10 kills in three sets and an attack percentage of .278. Christine Pinder (Gainesville, Fla/Buchholz High School) helped the Eagles defensively with a team-high 12 digs in the match.
The Bucs took hold of the lead early on in set one with four-quick points. The Eagles capitalized on two ETSU errors and recorded two kills to fight back and tie the set at seven. The Bucs took several small leads but saw as the Eagles battled back during each stint before the home team took control midway through the set and went ahead 19-13 before Nichols called timeout.
ETSU scored five-straight points out of the timeout to take complete control of the game and went ahead 24-13 on a series of kills. With set point on the line, Mesner challenged the Bucs with a strong kill before Karina Mambuca (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast High School) recorded a service ace to prevent the Bucs from taking the win. The Eagles were able to score three more points with their backs to the wall, but a kill sealed the win for ETSU, 25-16.
The Eagles entered set two with an increased sense of urgency. The team challenged the Bucs for points and tied the set on eight occasions through the opening points of the stanza. With the set tied at 14, the home team produced three-straight points to take its largest lead of the set. The Eagles stopped the Bucs from continuing the scoring streak but could not cut the three-point deficit. ETSU increased its lead and maintained the advantage through the end of the set where a kill from ETSU’s leading hitter brought the score to 25-20 in favor of the Bucs.
The Bucs carried the momentum built from a 2-0 lead into the final stanza and took a 5-1 lead to begin the set. FGCU was forced to call timeout to regroup but saw as the Bucs used three-straight service aces to go ahead 9-1. While trailing 12-3, Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers High School) recorded the Eagles first kill of the set to cut the Buc streak. However, the Eagles saw as two quick points from ETSU gave the home team a ten-point advantage, 14-4.
After another FGCU timeout, the Eagles regained composure and scored four-straight points on kills from Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City High School) and Mesner. ETSU called timeout to stop the Eagles from heating up and extended its lead again on a timely block. The home team maintained the lead through the end of the set and ultimately won 25-16 to take the match, 3-0.
With the loss the Eagles fall to a fourth-place tie in the Atlantic Sun. ETSU holds first with the undefeated mark, while Jacksonville maintains possession of second place with a 6-1 conference record. Lipscomb holds third with a record of 6-2, while FGCU and Stetson are currently tied for fourth with marks of 5-2 in conference action.
The Eagles will conclude nonconference action on Tuesday, Oct. 15 when they travel to Miami to take on FIU. The midweek matchup is slated for 6 p.m. on Lime Court at the U.S. Century Bank Arena.
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.