@FGCU_VB Falls to USF 3-1 in Home Opener
Tuesday, September 10, 2013 | by Jamie Church (@jlchurch)
Christine Pinder led the Eagles with 15 Kills
Christine Pinder led the Eagles with 15 Kills
USF (4-4)
Florida Gulf Coast (1-6)
9/10/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 821
USF19252525 --
Florida Gulf Coast25182012 --
Stats at a GlanceUSFFGCU
Hitting Pct..331.168
Total Attacks142149
Statistical LeadersUSFFGCU
KillsBIVINS - 16
AssistsSOARES - 29
MEYER - 39
AcesSOARES - 1
DigsFAIRS - 18

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University women’s volleyball team fell in a four-set match to the University of South Florida, 3-1, on Tuesday, Sept. 10 at Alico Arena.  With the loss, the Eagles fall to 1-6 on the season, while the Bulls improve to an even 4-4.

Backed by six kills from senior Christine Pinder (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz High School), the Eagles defeated USF, 25-19, in set one before falling to USF in three-consecutive sets.

“There are a couple of areas that we’re struggling with this year; our serve receive and our blocking,” commented Head Coach Dave Nichols.  “As those two things broke down, the game became more difficult for us.  Our players just weren’t able to make the adjustments to get positive touches.  We started off pretty well, still a little sloppy, but I thought some good things were going on, but when we lose our passing we tend to lose the rest of our game.”   

Pinder led the Eagles’ offensive effort with 15 kills on the night, while Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers High  School) and Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City High School) added 14 and 13 kills, respectively.  Junior GiGi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz High School) facilitated the offense with 39 assists through four sets, while classmate and Atlantic Sun Conference Preseason Libero of the Year Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind./Wapahani High School) led the Eagles’ defense with 15 digs in the match.  Pinder also added 11 digs on the night for her second double-double of the season.

After falling behind 2-0 to start the match, the Eagles rallied for four-straight points to take the lead.  Two kills from Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River High School) helped FGCU increase the lead to 10-4 but the Green and Blue saw the Bulls retaliate to tie the set at 11.  The Eagles maintained the advantage through the end of the set and with three timely kills by Pinder took the win, 25-19.

The Bulls scored seven of the first 10 points to take the initial lead in set two and increased the lead to 10-5 on an FGCU attack error and a kill.  The teams traded points in middle of the set but the Eagles could not stop the momentum of the Bulls.  USF took the set, 25-18, to even the match 1-1.

With a three-point series, the Bulls took a quick 4-1 lead but were met with retaliation from the Eagles.  FGCU tied the game at seven and traded points with the Bulls through the midpoint in the set, with neither team taking more than a two-point lead.  The Bulls used two-consecutive kills to spark a momentum swing and increased their lead to 21-17.  The Eagles fought through the end of the set but ultimately fell, 25-20.

The Bulls rallied to begin the final set and took a 6-0 lead.  The Eagles stopped the scoring drought with a kill from Pinder but were outmatched by the Bulls in set four.  The Bulls increased the lead to 10 points and never relinquished the advantage.  USF earned a 25-12 win in set four to take a 3-1 match victory.

FGCU will return to action on Friday, Sept. 13 when they host the 2013 Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites Airport Classic.  The Eagles will face Central Arkansas at 10 a.m. on Friday and will take on Marquette in a 7 p.m. bout.  The two-day tournament will wrap up when the Eagles challenge No. 3 Penn State at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

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.