Eagles heading to Texas after going 1-2 in Ohio State’s Koehl Classic

This weekend the Florida Gulf Coast University volleyball team will head to the University of Texas Arlington Hilton Maverick Invitational.
The Eagles will be looking to improve on their 2-3-1 record for the season. The Eagles will play the Houston Baptist Huskies at noon Friday, Sept. 12 and also will matchup against the host UT Arlington Mavericks that evening at 8 p.m.
The next day the Eagles will finish the tournament facing off against the Texas Southern Tigers at noon Saturday, Sept. 13. The tournament will be hosted in Arlington, Texas at the College Park Center and will be hosted by UT Arlington.
Eagles finish 1-2 at Ohio State’s Koehl Classic, beating Salukis
The FGCU volleyball team defeated the Southern Illinois University Salukis in a 3-2 victory and lost to Ohio State and Auburn in the Ohio State Annual D.C. Koehl Classic.
The Eagles defeated Southern Illinois in a five set victory (25-21, 12-25, 12-25, 25-12, 16-14). Eleonora Kazarian set a career high with 23 kills, which led all players.
Coach Matt Botsford told FGCU Athletics that he was extremely pleased with the way Kazarian played.
“She is just scratching at the surface of what she can do and we certainly caught a glimpse of that this morning,” Botsford said.
Olivia Mesner and Jessica Barnes also chipped in for the Eagles with 14 and 11 kills, respectively. Gigi Meyer led the Eagles’ attack with 51 assists according to the website. With the game tied at 2-2 and deadlocked again at 14, Kazarian ended the Salukis’ hopes with multiple kills to preserve an Eagles’ victory according to the website.
In the Eagles’ matchup later that evening, FGCU started strong but ultimately fell to the host Ohio State Buckeyes in a 3-1 loss.
Although the Eagles won the first set 25-22 behind strong play from Barnes and Kazarian, the Buckeyes then won the next three sets to put the Eagles away. Despite the loss coach Botsford was happy with the Eagles’ effort, as he told FGCU Athletics.
“I was pleased with our ability to create point-scoring opportunities even when things weren’t perfect,” Botsford said.
The Eagles finished the Classic on Sunday with a 3-1 loss to the Auburn Tigers. The Eagles were edged in set one (30-28) but roared back with a 25-17 victory in set two. The Eagles then dropped the next two sets to give Auburn the victory, according to FGCU Athletics.
Kazarian again led the Eagles’ attack with 15 kills, while also being named to the All-Tournament Team. Vanessa Benke collected her third double-double as an Eagle with 11 kills and 12 digs according to FGCU Athletics. Barnes also chimed in with 10 kills and Meyer again facilitated the offense by assisting for 38 of the team’s kills.
“There were several shortcomings for the team this weekend, but overall I’m pleased with our progress,” Botsford told FGCU Athletics. “We have continued to make strides in our play, while facing extremely strong competition and I am confident that we will continue to do so.”