Women’s volleyball sets the tone in Tampa in win over USF

By Alejandro Aguirre/Contributing Writer

The volleyball team traveled this weekend to Tampa, Florida to play a three match tournament that started with playing against the host, USF. It was a great start to the tournament as the Panthers beat the bulls three sets to one.

It was a great team effort as eight players recorded kills. The offensive attack was led evenly by junior Lucia Castro, freshmen Lea Montavon and Jennifer Ene who each had seven kills. Castro had a career night, recording 20 digs in the match while Ene showed her defensive abilities in having a season high seven blocks.

The Panthers stormed right out of the gates taking the first four points of the first set which extended their lead to six. USF called a timeout and from there the Bulls went on a five to one run to get within two points. From there it was a back and forth game with FIU constantly trying to hold on to a two point lead. The team was still able to keep the lead even with multiple comeback attempts by USF and won the first set 25- 22.

In the second set, the two teams switched places and the Bulls had the lead for the majority of the set. FIU was trailing 7-3 early in the set. The Panthers were resilient and tied the game up on a 4-0 run. From there on out the set was close and had three more ties and lead changes. The team went on an 8-1 run to solidify the win the second set and won 25- 21. That final run was crucial because the team had their backs against the wall but they showed their true toughness.

The Panthers were trying to get their first sweep of the season in the third set but the Bulls had other plans as their defense picked up the slack and held FIU to a .125 hitting percentage. It was clearly obvious that the Bulls had the edge over the panthers in the third set as they easily came away with the victory 25 -15.  In spite of losing by a large margin in the third set, FIU quickly put that behind them and came out strong in the fourth set. In the beginning the two teams were exchanging points but FIU ran away with the lead on a quick 5-0 run and they never looked back from there. In this set, defense was the strong point for the Panthers as they had 18 digs and four blocks. Eventually, the team won 25- 20 and won the match improving their record to 2-3. FIU finishes the tournament Saturday against Buffalo first and then they take on South Carolina State.


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