(4-20 (3-11 A-Sun))
Florida Gulf Coast
(12-15 (8-6 A-Sun))
11/2/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 379
|Florida Gulf Coast||25||16||25||25||
|Stats at a Glance||UPST||FGCU|
FORT MYERS, Fla. – After three-consecutive losses, the FGCU women’s volleyball team defeated USC Upstate 3-1 on Saturday night at Alico Arena. The Eagles earned a win in set one (25-23) but dropped set two (25-16) to even the match. FGCU rallied for wins in sets three and four (25-19, 25-22) to earn the match victory. With the win, the Eagles improve to 12-15 on the season with an 8-6 Atlantic Sun record, while the Spartans fall to 4-20 and 3-11 in conference action.
“Tonight was another night where we played inconsistently. We did just enough to win and that’s always a great thing, but we made it more difficult than it needed to be,” explained head coach Dave Nichols. “Our defense was sloppy at times, our block was kind of scattered at times and I think our focus was in and out. We need to work on being a little bit sharper to get ready for the conference tournament. We need to take care of business and get a little bit better.”
The win helps the Green and Blue move toward the Atlantic Sun Conference championship tournament. The team currently stands in a tie for fourth place with two more wins than sixth-place Kennesaw State. The top six teams in the standings will compete in the conference tournament.
The FGCU attack was led by 18 kills from Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River High School) and 16 by Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City High School). Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers High Schools) added 12 kills for the Green and Blue and recorded a team-high attack percentage at .478.
Junior Gigi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz High School) produced 54 assists for the Eagles, while classmate Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind./Wapahani High School) led the defense with 28 digs.
As a team, the Eagles recorded an attack percentage of .235, while holding the Spartans to .155. The team compiled 61 kills with 74 digs and six team blocks.
FGCU began the match with a quick 3-0 lead. The team extended its advantage to 8-5, but saw as the Spartans responded to tie the set at nine. A series of Spartan errors helped the Eagles reclaim the lead at 13-9 before kills from Barnes and Karina Mambuca (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast High School) pushed the Eagles ahead, 17-12.
After a USC Upstate timeout, the visiting team pulled its offense together to challenge the Eagles and tie the set at 22. The Spartans used two Eagle errors and two kills to take a 23-22 lead for their first lead of the set and forced Nichols to call timeout.
The Eagles saw a service error by Upstate immediately after the timeout and used kills from Mambuca and Barnes to go ahead 25-23 to earn the set-one win.
The teams traded points to open the second set before the visiting team used a rally to go up 8-4. FGCU called timeout to regroup but was unable to stop the Upstate offense. The visiting team increased its lead to 15-10 and 18-12 before a series of small rallies ultimately gave the Spartans a 25-16 win to even the match.
The Eagles took a 6-2 lead to begin the third stanza and increased that lead to 14-9 with kills from Holm, Mesner and Barnes. The Spartans attempted to stop the Eagle attack with a timeout, but the home team maintained a five-point lead through the majority of the set. With a 22-17 lead, the Eagles scored five of the next seven points to seal the win, 25-19 and go ahead 2-1 in the match.
The Spartans went ahead 4-2 to open the fourth set but saw as the Eagles rallied for eight-consecutive points to take a 10-4 lead. The Green and Blue used strong hitting and forced several Upstate errors to maintain the advantage and eventually sealed the victory with a 25-22 triumph. The fourth-set win gave the Eagles the 3-1 win to increase their league standing.
The Eagles will return to action on Tuesday, Nov. 5 when they travel to face Jacksonville University at 7 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.