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Bulldogs defeated by FGCU, Akron Saturday

Photo by DSPics.com
Photo by DSPics.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Bryant University volleyball team was defeated by FGCU and Akron Saturday in the final day of the Homewood Suites Fort Myers Classic.

Sophomore Caroline Kennedy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) recorded a season-high 15 kills in the match against Akron, while sophomore Haley O'Brien (Milton, Mass.) collected 11 kills on a .500 hitting percentage against the host Eagles in the day's first match.

Match Information
FGCU 3, Bryant 0 (14-25, 17-25, 23-25)
Akron 3, Bryant 1 (25-16, 20-25, 22-25, 16-25)
Records: Bryant (0-3), FGCU (2-0), Akron (1-2)
Location: Alico Arena (Fort Myers, Fla.)

Coach Garlacy's Comments
FGCU: "We showed true grit, gaining strength each set and overcoming a huge set three deficit to make it a two-point set. We battled to the end and I was proud of the fight our team displayed. Haley O'Brien was tremendous offensively and Emma McGovern led us defensively again."

Akron: "Our setters really stepped up in this match, played great defense and moved the ball around well. Caroline Kennedy showed she has a lot of tools in her toolbox and Maya Popernik played superb defense. On the weekend, we were very pleased with the serving and the defense overall and are very happy for Alisi as she earns her first all-tournament selection."

How it Happened vs. FGCU

  • Set 1 – Bryant was within 15-11 before FGCU scored five of the next six, causing the Bulldogs to use both their timeouts. The Eagles' 9-2 run secured the set. Kennedy and O'Brien each had a pair of kills in the frame.
  • Set 2 – The set was tied at 12 before FGCU scored five of the next seven to go ahead 17-14. An attack error brought Bryant back within two at 19-17 before the Eagles scored the final six points of the set.
  • Set 3 – The Eagles jumped out to a 15-5 advantage before the Bulldogs rattled off the next nine to pull within 15-14 after a pair of aces by freshman Emma McGovern (Long Beach, N.Y.). Four straight Eagle points gave FGCU a 20-16 lead and the Eagles would close out the match in three.

How it Happened vs. Akron

  • Set 1 – With the set tied 6-6, Bryant rattled off a 9-1 run to take control of the opening frame. The Bulldogs would lead by at least six the rest of the way in the first.
  • Set 2 – Bryant led 13-12 before Akron turned the tables with a 9-1 run to go ahead 21-14. McGovern collected a pair of aces in the set.
  • Set 3 – The Bulldogs held a 14-7 advantage before the Zips surged back with 13 of the next 17 points to go ahead 20-18. Bryant would battle to tie the set at 20, but Akron closed the frame with five of the final six points.
  • Set 4 – A 9-1 run put the Zips in front 15-9 after three straight Akron aces. It would eventually become a 16-3 stretch for Akron, which would close out the match in four sets.

Stats/Notes

  • O'Brien tallied 11 kills on a .500 hitting percentage (11-2-18) in the match against FGCU. The sophomore added three blocks in each match.
  • Kennedy hit .278 (15-5-36) with 15 kills and added three blocks against Akron.
  • McGovern notched six kills and 11 digs against the Eagles and chipped in with eight digs, three aces and two blocks against the Zips.
  • Freshman Mia Cergol (East Northport, N.Y.) tallied 16 assists against FGCU and 18 vs. Akron.
  • Junior Alisi Motu'apuaka (Virginia Beach, Va.) collected 13 assists against the Eagles and 14 in the contest with the Zips.
  • Sophomore Maya Popernik (Chicago, Ill.) recorded a career-best 18 digs against Akron. Popernik eclipsed a previous career-high of seven digs last season at Hartford.
  • Freshmen Abby Rae (Walpole, Mass.) and Alysa Wright (Wayne, Pa.) made their collegiate debuts in the FGCU match, while freshman Maggie Ryan (Bethesda, Md.) made her first career start against the Eagles.
  • Bryant drops to 0-1 all-time against FGCU.
  • The Bulldogs fall to 0-3 in the series history with the Zips.
  • Motu'apuaka was named to the Homewood Suites Fort Myers Classic All-Tournament Team.

Up Next
Bryant returns to New England for a Tuesday night match at New Hampshire. First serve for the Bulldogs and Wildcats will be at 7 p.m. in Durham.

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