WINTER PARK, Fla. (September 15, 2017) – Returning to the court after 13 days away from competition due to Hurricane Irma, the Rollins volleyball team came out on fire but found themselves unable to overcome Florida Tech in their home opener in Warden Arena on Friday evening. The 3-1 (25-9, 21-25, 23-25, 23-25) loss to the Panthers drops the Tars to a mark of 1-4 on the season, while FIT advances their record to 3-1.
Junior middle blocker Kerra Tirado posted a new career high in blocks in a match, earning eight overall as she led the team in solo blocks with three, and added a team high five assisted blocks. Mary Bethany Vincent also earned five assisted blocks on the night, while Madison Jenkins made four total blocks. In all, the Tars put up 17 total team blocks on the night, notching a new team high on the season.
Leading the Tars in kills was senior Shannon McDonough with 16, followed by Bri Civiero with a double-doulbe of 12 kills and a team high 25 digs. Rachel Fletcher and Jaime Becker were close behind in digs with 19 and 18, respectively. Sophomore setter Cassidy Cason earned 36 of the Tars' 40 assists on the night. Notching the Tars' two service aces on the evening was Tirado.
Florida Tech was led by Kelly Germain, who tallied 12 kills and 12 digs. Olivia Hersey tallied a team second best 11 kills. Kyra Atkinson notched a team best 26 digs, followed by Kiersten Rosa and Sheila Villagrasa with 15 each. Rosa dished out 30 of FIT's 40 assists. Of the team's four total blocks, Rosa earned one solo block and two assisted stops, while Hersey earned three assisted blocks.
COACH ROBINSON'S THOUGHTS:
"Overall, we did a lot of things really well tonight, particularly defensively. However, aside from set one, we really struggled to be efficient offensively. Florida Tech did a great job of extending rallies and being relentless which led to quite a few unforced errors on our part. We loved seeing so many fans come out tonight, and we look forward to bouncing back for tomorrow afternoon's match."
- The match was tied a total of 21 times, and saw the lead change hands on 11 occasions. Sets three and four proved to be the most challenging. In set three, the score was tied 11 times and had four lead changes, while set 4 was tied seven times and also saw the lead change four times.
- Rollins posted their highest block total of the season with 17, led by Tirado with her career high of eight total blocks, including her match high three solo stops.
- Set One: The Panthers bit first, earning a point off of an attack error by Civiero. However, the Tars answered back with five straight to take a 5-1 lead. FIT broke the run earning a point off of a service error by Tirado, but the Tars retaliated with a kill by Civiero off of an assist by Cason. That point ignited a 12 point run that pulled the Tars into a sizeable 17-2 lead before an attack error by Civiero halted the sprint. The Tars continued with their streaks, notching four straight to pull ahead to a 22-5 advantage, and closed the first set with a final score of 25-9.
- Set Two: Set two began much like the first with the Panthers scoring first, this time on a kill by Hersey. The Tars responded with five straight to take a 5-1 lead, and pulled ahead by as much as 7-2 early on. After a back and forth battle, the Panthers sparked a scoring streak that saw them rattle off 12 straight to pull ahead to a 19-10 lead. Fletcher broke the run with a kill off of an assist by Cason, to set the tally at 19-11, which was followed by back-and-forth action that saw the Tars pull to within six, 24-18. Rollins fired off three straight, ignited by a kill by McDonough off of an assist by Cason, pulling to within three, 24-21, but the Panthers were able to seal the deal on a kill by Tania Kottke off of an assist by Reeves to even the match at 1-1 with a 25-21 set 2 victory.
- Set Three: The third set saw the score tied 11 times with four lead changes. The Tars and Panthers found themselves tied at 17-17, marking the tenth time the score was tied in the third set. Florida Tech pulled ahead to a 22-18 lead, but the Tras bounced back to pull to within one, 24-23 late in the stanza. Despite the Tars' best defensive efforts, Florida Tech earned the 25-23 set point on a kill by Hersey off of an assist by Rosa to take a 2-1 match lead.
- Set Four: It was an all-out battle late in the fourth frame as the Tars found themselves tied with the Panthers at 23-23. FIT gained the one point edge on a kill by Audrey Keenen, and Hersey closed out the match with a kill for the 25-23 match point.
- Date: Saturday | September 16, 2017
- Opponent: No. 4 Palm Beach Atlantic
- Location: Warden Arena | Winter Park, Fla.
- Time: 4:00 p.m.
- Coverage: Live Stats | Tars Sports Network Broadcast
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