August 30, 2019
WINTER HAVEN, Fla.- The Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers couldn't get out of their own way Friday afternoon in a matchup with #7 Polk State, self-inflicting 42 errors in a three set loss to the undefeated Eagles.
Things didn't get off to a good start for the Bucs who fell behind 10-3 in the first set on a rash of errors to begin the match. They battled back to within five midway through the set after an ace by Amanda Mendes and cut the Polk lead to just three later on as Amy Barley recorded an ace of her own, but Polk went on to score the final five points of the period, four on FSW miscues to take the set 25-17. The Bucs finished the set with a negative hitting percentage at -.048, committing 10 errors at the net to just eight kills in the set.
The second set started ominously for the Bucs as well as a service error on the opening serve put them in a 1-0 hole. They battled back this time, taking a 10-7 lead, but that lead quickly evaporated as the Eagles knotted the set back up at 13 after back to back FSW hitting errors. The teams went back and forth to 16-16 when the Bucs hit a late set wall again as Polk outscored them 9-2 to close the set for a 25-18 win to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
Trying to extend the match to a fourth set, FSW again shot themselves in the foot from the start in the third, committing two straight unforced hitting errors to begin the period to put themselves in trail position right off the bat. A Polk ace stretched the Eagles lead to 9-5 before the Bucs made a push with kills from Anna Leweling and Mendes to tie the score up at 10. It was a 13-12 game when the Bucs hit another sizeable rut with Polk rolling off eight of the next nine points to turn a one point lead into a commanding eight point advantage as they looked to close FSW out. The Bucs made a push to make the score respectable, but it was too little, too late as Polk got a block to finish the third in style, taking it 25-18 to sweep the match 3-0.
FSW hit a season low .018 in the loss, committing a season high 24 hitting errors in the contest. Leweling led the Bucs with nine kills and was the only FSW hitter with more than five kills on the afternoon. The Bucs struggled on both sides of the service game, recording five service errors and eight reception errors in the match.
The Bucs drop below .500 for the first time on the season at 2-3 while the 7th ranked Eagles improve to a perfect 6-0.
Unbeknownst to them until they arrived at the gym, FSW's second match of the day, scheduled against Daytona State, was cancelled due to the Falcons preparations for Hurricane Dorian.
Also postponed due to the storm were the Bucs scheduled matches Tuesday at home against Eastern Florida and Palm Beach State. Currently the Purple and Aqua aren't scheduled to take the court again until September 10th when they host Broward and Central Florida in a tri-match beginning at 2 PM at Suncoast Credit Union Arena.