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FAU swipes FGCU Sand Volleyball regular season finale

Photo by Linwood Ferguson

In their regular season finale, FGCU fell to FAU Tuesday at Estero Community Park. The Eagles end the regular season with a 9-6 record while the Owls end the year 13-11.

“We’ve set a nice standard over the past few weeks and even though we didn’t get the win today we put ourselves in a position to win,” said head coach Matt Botsford. “These ladies have been very easy to coach and they’ve put a lot of effort in. It’s been a lot of fun to see them get these results and to see them put themselves in a position to win consistently. We have a lot of momentum going into the conference tournament and I think we have a good shot.”

Madi Wilcox and Elisa Aldrich started the afternoon for FGCU with a 21-14 win in their first set over Heather Weiss and Nicole Navarro. Meanwhile FGCU’s No. 5 pairing of Leigh Pudwill and Katherine Puisis took their first set 21-15.

Only the No. 4 pairing would see victory however, with Aldrich and Wilcox closing out their match with a 21-18 win. The Eagles pulled away and held off a late Owl rally to give FGCU a 1-0 lead. Hoping to increase the lead to 2-0, Pudwill and Puisis fell 21-11 in the second set and nearly came back in the third before ultimately falling 15-12.

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Amanda Carroll and Mackenzie Allen attempted to regain control of the match for FGCU, controlling their first set against Brittany Pelliteri and Julia Lewkowicz to the tune of a 21-10 win. On courts one and three, the Eagles had lost their first sets. Eleonora Kazarian and Vanessa Benke had held close through the entire first set against Delaney Clesen and Gabrielle Dischler but the Owl duo pulled away to win 21-18.

On court three, Andrea Galinis and Chelsey Tekavec had defeated Karissa Rhoades and Ashley Glickert 21-9. But the second sets proved to be different for two of the three ongoing matches. Rhoades and Glickert bounced back to force a third set with a 21-19 win. On the very next court, Carroll and Allen were forced to a third set, falling 21-12 in their second set.

FGCU fell behind 2-1 as Benke and Kazarian could not match Clesen and Dischler, falling 21-10. Trailing in the match, both remaining pairs were behind 8-7 in their respective matches. Carroll and Allen continued to trail and put together a small rally to cut the deficit to 13-11. The Owls however closed out the match with a 15-11 win.

Rhoades and Glickert were tied at 15 in their third set before recording the next two points for FGCU’s second point in the 3-2 loss.

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