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FGCU volleyball finishes regular season with win over NJIT

EN Photo / Brad Young

The FGCU volleyball team finished the regular season with a 3-0 win over NJIT Sunday afternoon. The Eagles ended 25-5 this year, and 11-3 for ASUN play.
With the win, the Eagles will be seeded No. 3 in the ASUN Conference Championship and take on sixth-seeded Jacksonville in the opening round Thursday, Nov. 17, in Nashville at 8:30 p.m. Eastern.
A dominant defense was key for FGCU’s 25th victory of the season, holding the Highlanders to a .000 hitting percentage. Daniele Serrano, Maggie Rick and Leigh Pudwill were strong on the net defensively, while Karissa Rhoades recorded 13 digs.
The Eagles wasted no time as they put up an 8-2 lead in the first set, following consecutive service aces by Rhoades.
A 5-1 run gave the Highlanders a 15-10 lead, but the Eagles held off a late rally to finish with a 25-22 victory.
In the second set, the 9-0 run started with the Eagles trailing, 8-4. The three kills came from Borgiotti as FGCU was able to turn the four-point deficit into a 13-8 advantage. A 9-2 run sealed the 25-17 second-set win.
The Highlanders responded in the second set with an 8-4 lead. However, a 9-0 run kept the Eagles in the match, eventually taking over, 13-8. A 9-2 run sealed the 25-17 second-set win.
The third set started 7-7, before FGCU utilized a 10-2 run to take control of the set, forcing NJIT to call a timeout down 17-9. That margin allowed FGCU to secure a 25-16 win in the third set and the team’s 25th win of the regular season.
Pudwill led the Eagles with nine kills, while Amanda Carroll and Giovanna Borgiotti each had six kills. Rick totaled 23 assists.
“I’m pleased with the road sweep and excited to be moving into the postseason,” head coach Matt Botsford said. “Our focus now is finding a way to extend our season every chance we get. This has been a season of firsts for our program, and this team is eager to continue that trend.”
Next, the Eagles will take on Jacksonville in the ASUN Championship opener on Thursday.

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