Will Duval | Sports Director
The FIU volleyball team swept the Jacksonville State Gamecocks in a two game series, reaching its conclusion with a 3-2 victory on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023 at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center in Miami, Florida.
Coming into this series, the Panthers were coming off a 3-0 win over the Liberty Flames on Saturday, Oct. 21. While taking all three sets, the match was closely contested as they never won a single set by more than three points.
Snapping their five game losing streak, that victory pushed their record to 10-14 and split the two game series with the Flames.
JSU came into the series holding a 5-15 season record and lost their previous matchup against the New Mexico State Aggies on Saturday, Oct. 21.
In that match they couldn’t find any offensive consistency, as they accumulated only 29 kills and had a 5.4% hitting percentage. Junior outside hitter Kaylee Moseley led the team with seven kills on 26 total attempts.
After winning their first match, the Gamecocks couldn’t carry forward any momentum and concluded the series with a 3-0 loss.
Looking to get back on track, they came out of the gates answering back each one of FIU’s scores until it was tied at 22-22.
Graduate student outside hitter Stavroula Papazoglou attacked and scored to give JSU a 23-22 lead. Almost halting their momentum, sophomore middle blocker Morgan McClure committed an attack error on the next play, to tie the game at 23-23.
Rectifying her previous mistake, McClure scored on the next play to give them a 24-23 lead. To end the set, Sadeiko committed an attack error and allowed the Gamecocks to win the first set with a 25-23 score.
Attempting to turn around the match, the Panthers dominated the second set and went on an 8-1 scoring run.
Jumping out to an 18-12 lead, they never let their opponent come within three points of them for the remainder of the set.
Scoring the final two points of the set, graduate student outside hitter Syra Tanchin and Yasso each recorded a kill. Pushing them to a 25-20 victory in the second set, the following would be the most competitive.
Despite taking a 4-1 lead to start the third set, FIU couldn’t keep their distance from the Gamecocks. Every short scoring run was answered with the same thing from the opposing team.
Following three straight scores and establishing a 17-13 lead, they allowed six unanswered points and fell 19-17.
With the game closely contested, Yasso and Tanchin scored three on three consecutive kills.
Giving the Panthers a 20-19 lead, neither team allowed each other any breathing room. Fighting back and forth, the game reached a 24-24 tie.
Once again leading the offense, Yasso scored on a kill and gave them the lead. Following an attack error from JSU, they were able to take a 26-24 victory.
Deflated from the close loss, the Gamecocks ran out of steam in the fourth set and allowed a quick 17-8 lead. Surrendering too large a lead, they went on to lose the final set 25-14.
Winning the fourth set, FIU took a 3-1 victory and won the first game of the series.
Sharing the offensive burden, Sadeiko, Tanchin and Yasso combined for 39 of the team’s 53 kills in the match. Sadeiko led the team with 16 total kills in the game.
Forcing their opponent into inaccuracy, JSU had a 9.7% hitting percentage and had a total of 30 attack errors in the match.
Continuing where they left off, the Panthers immediately took control of the first set and jumped out to a 15-8 advantage.
Attempting to climb back into the game, the Gamecocks fought back and scored three points.
Not entertaining a comeback, FIU scored six unanswered points in response and jumped out to a 23-11 lead. Having built a large margin, they put away the first set with a score of 25-14.
Victory was in their sight, as they went on to take a 26-24 win in their second set and took a 2-0 lead for the match.
With their backs against the wall, JSU went on to win the next two sets and tied the match at 2-2.
Pushing the game to a decisive fifth set, the Panthers showed their dominance and scored eight points to start off.
Powering forward, the Gamecocks weren’t able to keep up with their opponent’s high-octane scoring and kept committing errors. Only scoring five points for the entire set, they struggled to hit the ball with consistency.
Asserting their dominance, FIU took a 15-5 win in the final set and won the match with a 3-2 score.
Leading the way offensively, Sadeiko totaled 21 kills and a 40.5% hitting percentage in the match. The rest of the team accumulated 40 kills, combining for a total of 61 in the match.
Winning both games and sweeping the series, they increased their record to 12-14 this season. Their conference record also improved to 8-4 as they prepare for the upcoming Conference USA tournament.
Entering their second-to-last series of the season, the FIU volleyball team is taking on the Western Kentucky Lady Toppers in a two game series on Friday, November 3, 2023.
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
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