The West Virginia University volleyball team finished its run at the Florida Gulf Coast Tournament with a five-set thriller against Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU). The Mountaineers ended with a 2-1 record in the two-day tournament taking their only loss to Albany.
In the second game of the tournament, the Mountaineers (4-5) were unable to secure a win in any of the three sets against Albany, as the Great Danes captured a 3-0 win. WVU kept the score close throughout the first set, taking its only lead of the match off a pair of Albany attacking errors. Albany reached set point at 25-16.
In the second set, Albany went on multiple scoring streaks and won the set off a WVU service error, reaching set point at 24-15. WVU took an early lead in the third set but Albany answered with four straight. Katie DeMeo kept the kills coming, cutting down the team’s deficit. To end the third, Albany scored off a kill to close out the third set, 25-21, sweeping the Mountaineers.
Saturday night, the Mountaineers were hungry for a win as they tipped off against FGCU.
In the first set, FGCU scored three straight to take an early 5-1 lead. Kristin Lux followed with a kill, putting an end to FGCU’s 5-2 scoring streak. WVU went on a 3-0 scoring run as they took the 13-12 lead. The set was tied up at 22-22, FGCU notched back-to-back points reaching set point at 24-22. DeMeo extended the set with a kill coming within one point, 24-23. An FGCU attacking error tied the set at 24 and a kill from Kristin Lux gave the Mountaineers the first set victory.
FGCU took an early lead in set two with a 9-2 advantage. A kill from freshman middle blocker Kristina Jordan ended FGCU’s 9-3 scoring run. The Mountaineers trailed FGCU 20-8 late in the second set. WVU scored on a pair of FGCU miscues but FGCU reached set point off a kill to end the second set.
In the third set, three FGCU miscues allowed WVU to score three straight points for an early 4-3 lead. Freshman defensive specialist Marielena Somoza hit an ace, increasing WVU’s lead to 6-4.
FGCU went on a six-point scoring run, cutting their deficit to one at 15-14. The score was back-and-forth late in the set but miscues from FGCU allowed WVU to reach set point, 26-24.
FGCU jumped to a 6-1 lead in set four and then scored four in a row, WVU trailing 10-1. Lux shut down FGCU’s scoring run with a kill. Keatan Broughton followed with an ace, taking the set score to 19-7. FGCU reached set point following a service ace, taking set four and forcing a fifth set.
Kills from Jordan give the Mountaineers an early lead in the fifth set. FGCU miscues increase WVU’s lead to four at 6-2. A kill from Natania Levak increased the Mountaineers lead to 8-3. Back-to-back kills from Katelyn Evans allowed WU to reach set point. FGCU scored two in a row, cutting its deficit to two, 14-12.
FGCU knocked down a kill, but WVU head coach Sunahara challenged for net violation on the play. The call stood. and WVU held a 14-13 advantage. DeMeo found the middle of the floor, securing a WVU win, 15-13. Mountaineers were victorious taking the match 3-2.
Sophomore defensive specialist Lindsay Proctor and Jordan earned all-tournament team honors for their efforts.
The Mountaineers are back in action this weeked at home for the Mountaineer Classic in the Coliseum. Morehead State, Penn and Wake Forest are the other schools participating. Action starts on Friday evening at 7 p.m. against Morehead State.