FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2011
Volleyball drops A-Sun opener to FGCU, 3-2
For the second straight year, the JU volleyball team and FGCU needed five sets for its annual match. This time, the Dolphins fell on the wrong end of the column as the Eagles took the win at home in the A-Sun opener on Friday.
The Dolphins (7-9, 0-1 A-Sun) and Eagles (6-7, 1-0) each traded a 25-23 wins in the first two sets. After JU took a 25-20 win in set three, FGCU won the final two sets, 25-21 & 15-12, to secure the match.
Kaitlin Holm paced the Eagles with 19 kills, while Jelena Simic finished with 17 kills and 16 digs to help the cause.
“We had the victory within our grasp,” JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg said. “We have had trouble putting teams away and FGCU made us play for that today. Once we stop leaving teams that opening then we can rattle on the winning stretch that we are capable of doing.”
Sophomore Kylie Jacob (16) and senior Alliya Drzewiecki (13) each finished with double-digits kills to lead the Dolphins. Sophomore Kendall Courtney added 48 assists and 21 digs.
In the first set, the Dolphins took a 10-6 lead on a kill by Jacob. JU later pushed the advantage to 17-12 from a kill by Drzewiecki on an assist from Courtney. An 8-2 run capped on an Olivia Mesner Kill gave FGCU a 20-19 advantage. The teams tied it twice before three FGCU errors gave JU the set.
Trailing 10-7 early, the Eagles used a 13-4 stretch, capped on a Brooke Koehler kill, to take a 20-14 advantage. The Dolphins battled back with six straight points to tie the match at 20-20. A Drzewiecki kill tied the match at 23-23, but two Dolphin errors gave the Eagles the set.
In the third set, JU got consecutive kills from sophomore Alyssa Robertson and Jacob for a 9-4 lead. The Dolphins took an 18-12 lead on another kill by Jacob. Robertson tallied a kill to officially give JU the set.
In the fourth set, the teams traded leads before FGCU broke free with a 20-18 advantage on a kill by Jill Hopper. The Dolphins tied it at 20-20 on an attack error, but a Hopper ace and kill by Simic forced a deciding set.
In the fifth set, the Eagles had an early 6-2 run for an 8-4 advantage. An attack error would help the Dolphins close it to a 9-8 deficit before the Eagles took six of the next eights to earn their first A-Sun win.
The Dolphins finish the weekend tomorrow against Stetson at 3 p.m. in DeLand, Fla. Fans can follow the action through live stats or video streaming on A-Sun.TV by logging onto JUDolphins.com.