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FGCU remains undefeated in A-Sun Conference play

The Florida Gulf Coast University women’s volleyball team defeated Jacksonville University (15-25, 25-16, 26-24, and 25-23). This improved the Eagles’ overall record from .500 to 8-7 and they maintained an undefeated Atlantic Sun conference record at 3-0.

This was also the first Pink Out of the 2014-15 season at FGCU. Fans were asked to dress in pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. People were also able to purchase a pink FGCU t-shirt at the game for $10. All proceeds went to support breast cancer and breast cancer research.

As part of Saturday’s Dig Pink event, the FGCU volleyball team collected $2,665 for the Side-Out Foundation, which supports medical research organizations and entities dedicated to providing patient services to breast cancer patients and their families.

Senior Olivia Mesner was crucial for the Eagles. She led the Eagles with 20 kills for the match against the Dolphins.

“Olivia was phenomenal. Jacksonville played extremely well in the first set and we knew that it wasn’t sustainable,” coach Matt Botsford said. “Although we didn’t play well in the first set, we knew we could even it out in the rest of the match with some big plays.  Making those plays shows the progress we’ve made in the last three or four weeks.  We are noticing that we’re starting to pull out close games like we saw in the third and four sets. We’re making plays when it matters.”

The match did not start off well for the Eagles. They quickly fell behind 10-6 in the first set before calling a timeout. They managed to close the gap to 10-9 before the Dolphins took control. The Dolphins used a 10-2 run to take control of the opening set. Ultimately, the Dolphins won set one 25-15 to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

The Eagles fell behind 7-2 early in the second set. Soon afterwards, FGCU used a 7-2 run to take control of the set. Midway thru the set, it was tied 13-13. The Eagles used that momentum and ultimately knotted the match at 1-1 by making set two 25-16.

The Eagles continued the momentum into the early parts of set three. The Eagles produced 30 digs and three blocks to stop the Dolphin attack.

The teams tied at 9-9 before FGCU produced a four-point run and forced the Dolphins to call timeout at 13-9. FGCU took hold of the lead briefly before JU closed and eventually tied the set at 21-21. The Eagles held on to take the third set 26-24. This gave the Eagles a 2-1 lead for the match after three competitive sets.

The teams traded points to begin the fourth set. The Eagles won four-straight points to take a 12-6 lead.  With momentum on their side, the Eagles maintained the lead and extended the advantage to 18-10. The Dolphins battled back to bring the deficit to just one point at 20-19 late in the set. The Eagles maintained their composure in face of intense pressure. FGCU held on to take the fourth set 25-23, which gave them the match 3-1.

FGCU and preseason favorite Lipscomb University are the only two A-Sun teams with an unblemished conference records in 2014.

The Eagles took a break from conference play to take on Bethune-Cookman in Daytona Beach Tuesday night where they won, 3-1.

The Eagles will return to conference play as they take on USC Upstate and Kennesaw away from the nest this weekend.

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