@FGCU_VB Defeats North Florida in Straight Sets for First Atlantic Sun Win
Saturday, September 21, 2013 | by Jamie Church (@jlchurch)
Play Video FGCU picked up its first Atlantic Sun win Saturday night
FGCU picked up its first Atlantic Sun win Saturday night
UNF (3-9 (0-2 ASun))
Florida Gulf Coast (2-10 (1-1 ASun))
9/21/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 418
UNF132223 -- --
Florida Gulf Coast252525 -- --
Stats at a GlanceUNFFGCU
Hitting Pct..136.261
Total Attacks125119
Statistical LeadersUNFFGCU
KillsKOOP - 9
AssistsFESL - 28
MEYER - 36
FESL - 1
DigsKOOP - 12
FESL - 12

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University women’s volleyball team earned its first Atlantic Sun victory with a 3-0 win over the University of North Florida on Saturday, Sept. 21 at Alico Arena.  With the win the Eagles improve to 2-10 on the year with an even 1-1 conference record, while the Ospreys fall to 3-9 and 0-2 in the A Sun. 

“Just to get a conference win and play with a little bit more confidence and have a little bit more fun out there was great for us,” said head coach Dave Nichols of the win.  “There was nice support from the crowd, the girls played hard, our serve receive was better than last night and our energy improved from last night so it was a nice win for us.  North Florida has been a very good team the last couple of years so it’s a good win and it gets us off to a better start to begin the conference season.”

The Eagles took control of set one early on and maintained the advantage through the match.  Senior Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City High School) led the Green and Blue to victory with 12 kills and 10 digs on the night for her second double-double of the season.  Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers High School) added 10 kills to the FGCU offensive effort, while GiGi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz High School) facilitated the offensive surge with 36 assists on the night.

Defensively, the Eagles saw four players with double-digit digs.  Christine Pinder (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz High School) amassed a season-high 18 through three sets to lead the Eagles, while Meyer, Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind/ Wapahani  High School) and Barnes added 13, 11 and 10, respectively for the all-around effort.

The Eagles produced a hitting percentage of .486 in set one with strong performances from Barnes, Holm, Pinder and Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River High School).  The group combined for 16 kills and no errors through set one. 

UNF took a brief 2-0 lead before the Eagles responded with three-quick points to tie the game at four.  After going ahead, 7-6, the Eagles tallied a 4-0 run to take an 11-6 lead and force UNF to call a timeout to regroup.  The Eagles did not relinquish the lead and held onto the advantage through the entire set, while increasing their lead to a set-high 20-11.  The teams traded points to conclude the set before two quick kills from FGCU secured the win, 25-13.  The win was the strongest point deficit the Eagles have created this season.

Backed by five kills from Barnes and four from Holm, the Eagles held onto the advantage in set two.  The Eagles took a slight lead before they were challenged by a tie score at four.  A UNF error and a service ace by Masters helped FGCU reclaim the lead. A six-point rally put the Eagles up 21-14, but the Ospreys were not finished fighting.  UNF rallied on set-point to score five points and bring the score to 24-21 before Nichols called timeout.  The Ospreys added one more point after the timeout before Meyer set Holm up for a kill to end the set, 25-22.

Although the teams tied the score on 12 occasions in set three, the Eagles held the Ospreys to a .096 hitting percentage and recorded 10 block assists in the final stanza.  FGU held the momentum early in the set but saw as the Ospreys tied the game at 15, 17, 19, 22 and 23.  With the tie late in the game, FGCU and UNF battled for points in an effort to take the lead.  A final kill from Karina Mambuca (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast High School) and an attack error from UNF sealed the victory for FGCU, 25-23 and gave the Eagles their first victory at Alico Arena with a 3-0 win.

The Eagles will continue a home stand next weekend as they host Kennesaw State and Mercer.  Friday’s contest against Kennesaw State is slated for 6 p.m., while the bout with Mercer is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday. 

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.