JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- Florida SouthWestern State freshman Julia de Sa pounded down a career high 19 kills, including nine in a clinching fourth set as the Buccaneers made the long trip to Jacksonville and came away with a 3-1 win against Florida State College at Jacksonville Friday night, giving FSW three straight wins for the first time in their young history.
The Bucs got off to an inauspicious start in the first set against the Blue Wave, making three straight errors to fall behind 3-0 right off the bat. They rebounded though, using a rash of FSCJ mistakes to turn the tide and take a 16-11 lead of their own. Things went downhill from there for FSW, as FSCJ slowly crept back in, eventually tying the score at 19 after back to back kills. The teams traded points to 22-22, but the Blue Wave were able to score the final three points of the set to finish off the Bucs 25-22 and go up 1-0 in the match. The Bucs dropped the set despite hitting .400 as a team with 11 kills and just one error in the period.
FSW jumped ahead early in the second set and never looked back. They led 6-2 early on and held a four point advantage to the midpoint of the set at 15-11 after a kill from Julia de Sa. They pushed their lead to eight at 22-14 on another de Sa blast and finished the Blue Wave off 25-16 to even the match at one.
The third set was all FSW. The Bucs came at FSCJ at all angles to start the first, getting kills from four different players to get out to a 5-0 lead. They didn't stop there though, eventually pushing their lead all the way to 13 on a Marina Alonso to Kianie Cummings connection in the middle before eventually putting the Blue Wave away 25-13 to take a 2-1 lead in the match. Everything went right for the Bucs in the third as they hit .438 as a team with just one error on 32 swings, while posting a 71% sideout percentage in the set.
Unfortunately, the Bucs couldn't carry the momentum from their dominate third set victory over into the fourth early on, falling behind 13-9 midway through the period. Enter de Sa once again. The Bucs freshman took over from there, willing FSW back into the set with a flurry of kills, ultimately tying the score up at 19 with her 17th kill of the night. The Bucs didn't stop there, taking their first lead of the set at 21-20 when Laura Ferrao put away an overpass. FSW finished the set and the match in style, getting two huge blocks, first from Cummings and Anna Leweling and finally from Cummings and Mendes to seal a 25-21 win to take the match 3-1. The Bucs finished the set with a season high 19 kills, nine of those coming from de Sa in the period.
FSW hit a season high .385 in the win, getting a career high 19 kills from de Sa who hit .459 for the Purple and Aqua. Mendes added 14 kills for the Bucs while Leweling and Ferrao each had six. Alonso dished out 39 assists for the Bucs while de Sa led the backrow with 13 digs. FSW posted 10 blocks as a team, getting seven from Cummings and five from Mendes in the victory.
The Bucs win their third straight to improve to 5-3 on the year while FSCJ drops back to .500 at 4-4.
FSW will remain in Jacksonville where they will have a quick turnaround Saturday morning, taking on Eastern Florida and Richard Bland at 10 AM and 12:30 PM respectively to wrap up the weekend.