Florida Gulf Coast
11/5/2013 | Jacksonville, Fla. | Attendance: 0
|Florida Gulf Coast||18||20||25||22||
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||JU|
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In a rare midweek Atlantic Sun contest, the FGCU women’s volleyball team fell 3-1 at Jacksonville’s Swisher Gym. The Eagles fell behind early with losses in the first two sets (25-18, 25-20) before defeating the Dolphins in set three (25-21). The home team rallied for a 25-22 win in the final set to secure the win. With the loss, the Eagles fall to 12-16 on the season with an 8-7 A-Sun mark, while JU moves to 23-3 and 12-2 in conference action.
“It was another frustrating loss for us,” explained head coach Dave Nichols. “We started out with a lack of focus and a lack of defensive intensity. We battled back some in game two but we fell into having a nice lead and giving it up with unforced errors and poor play. We played a strong third game but again the wheels came off in game four and we couldn’t recover. I keep feeling that we are beating ourselves more than the what the other teams are doing. We’re going to go back to work tomorrow and try to play our best match of the season against Stetson on Saturday.”
The Eagles’ attack was led by 15 kills from Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City High School), while Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River High School) also added double-digit kills for the Green & Blue with 13. Barnes and Mesner each added four block assists on the night to pace the team.
The Dolphins took control of set one out of the gates and produced a quick 7-2 lead. After seeing the deficit increased to 9-3, FGCU called timeout to slow the home team’s offense. A Mesner kill gave the Eagles a point immediately out of the timeout, but the Green and Blue could not stop the Dolphins from moving ahead 12-6 and 16-10. JU maintained the lead and did not allow the Eagles to cut the lead. With two-quick kills and an Eagle error the Dolphins sealed the win at 25-18 to move ahead in the match.
The teams battled for points to begin the second set and tied the stanza at points four, six and seven before a four-point rally helped the Eagles take an 11-7 lead. The home team responded to challenge the Eagles and eventually tied the set at 14. A six-point run for the Dolphins helped JU reclaim control of the set and take a 21-15 lead. The Dolphins maintained the lead to earn set two, 25-20 and take a two-set lead in the match.
With the match on the line, the Eagles responded to pressure the Dolphins. The teams fought to even the set 10 times, culminating with a tie at 16. JU took a brief 19-16 lead on a series of kills, but a five-point streak enabled the Eagles to claim a 21-19 lead. FGCU maintained the slight advantage and went ahead 25-21 on a Barnes kill and a JU error to win set three and stay alive.
The Eagles opened set four with a strong attack and took a 5-0 lead to begin the set, but the Dolphins quickly responded and tied the set at eight. The teams went on to tie at 14 and 19 before three FGCU errors put the Dolphins ahead 22-19. After an FGCU timeout the Dolphins extended their lead to 24-21 and sealed the match victory with one final kill.
With the set-four win, the Dolphins earned a 3-1 win to remain undefeated at home and maintain the second-place standing in the A-Sun rankings. Despite the loss, the Eagles hold onto their fifth-place standing in the conference with two fewer losses than sixth-ranked Kennesaw State.
The Green and Blue will return to Alico Arena on Saturday, Nov. 9 for the final home contest of the season. The Eagles will host Stetson in a 2 p.m. match, which will be preceded by a Senior Day ceremony.
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.