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Volleyball defeats Georgia Southern, begins A-Sun play

The Eagles won their final volleyball game before the start of Atlantic Sun play last week, defeating Georgia Southern 3-2 on Friday, Sept. 24. The Eagles took the first set and dropped the next two sets to the hosts, before finding a rhythm and taking the final two.
FGCU was led by Karissa Rhoades and Amanda Carroll, both earned 19 kills each. Eleonora Kazarian returned to the court, without missing a beat and added 18 kills to the board herself. Rhoades’ 19 kills was a career-high for the freshman, who also added 13 digs in her first career doubledouble. Vanessa Benke compiled 26 digs to lead the defensive play.
FGCU used a quick start to take control of the first set. The Eagles never trailed the first set. Kills from Kazarian and Carroll put FGCU in front 3-1 immediately. The Eagles were forced to play from behind in the second set, trailing 3-0 early and 11-4 moments later. Rhoades recorded six kills during the set, but it wasn’t enough to bring the team back.
Both the second and third set went to Georgia Southern. FGCU found its footing again in the fourth set using kills from Rhoades and Kazarian to force the hosts to call timeout with the score 9-5. The lead would continue to grow to 15-9 in FGCU’s favor as Carroll picked up consecutive kills. GSU attempted to come back and would get to within 19-15, but the Eagles used kills from Moeller and Carroll to finish off the set 25-20.
After forcing the decisive fifth set, FGCU started with three straight points, two coming on blocks from Tutwiler and Carroll. The lead grew to 5-1 thanks to a pair of Kazarian kills. FGCU overpowered GSU, hitting .545 in the final set, taking the game 3-2.
The Eagles opened A-Sun play in DeLand against Stetson Saturday, Sept. 26.
FGCU performed well offensively, hitting .400 in the opening set to win it 25-15.
The Eagles faced a small deficit early in the second set, falling behind 6-4. FGCU was unable to catch up; the Hatters took the set 25-22 to even up the match.
With the third set tied at four, Rhoades collected two kills to put FGCU up 7-4, then another kill as part of a 6-2 run, giving FGCU a 10-6 lead. The Eagles continued to build momentum, paving the way for a 25-15 set win. Six blocks by the Eagles helped limited the Hatters to a .079 hitting percentage in the third set.
The Hatters came out and took a 6-1 lead in the fourth set. FGCU used an ace from Caroline Jordan and kills from Kazarian and Moeller to make it 6-4 and would get as close as 7-6 before Stetson went on a 7-1 run, making it 14-7 midway through the game.
The Eagles refused to give in, taking advantage of four attack errors from the Hatters. At 17-14, Kazarian kept the offensive effort going. With an ace from Kazarian, FGCU earned a 19-18 lead, its first lead of the set. Three kills from Carroll and another attack error gave the Eagles match point at 24-20 and Adami’s third kill of the set secured the win for FGCU as the Eagles took the set 25-21.
The team will continue A-Sun play againt New Jersey Institute of Technology on Oct. 2. NJIT is new to the A-Sun confrence and this will be the first time the programs have met.

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