MIAMI, Fla.- The Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers saw their season best five match win streak come to an abrupt halt on Friday night in Miami, falling 3-0 to #3 Miami Dade to drop to 7-4 overall on the year.
The Bucs looked good early, going toe to toe with the Sharks, who played for the NJCAA National Championship a season ago. Back to back kills from Amanda Mendes midway through the first set had FSW out to a 15-13 lead and they pushed their advantage to three on a kill from Laura Ferrao in the middle that made it 17-14. A service error gave the Sharks the ball back and the momentum and they rolled off the next four to retake a one point, 18-17 lead. The teams went back and forth, seeing the score tied at 20, 22, and 23, but a kill and a solo block for Dade wrapped up a 25-23 win to give them a 1-0 lead in the match. The Bucs finished the set with 16 kills, nine of those coming from Mendes who hit .750 in the period.
The second was never a contest. Miami Dade jumped out to a 7-1 and then 18-5 lead on the stunned Bucs. A rash of ball handling errors on FSW kept the Sharks well out in front and a Dade ace off the tape mercifully ended the set at 25-11 to put the Bucs in a 2-0 hole. FSW managed just seven kills and a .040 hitting percentage in the set with nobody but Mendes registering more than two kills.
The Bucs came out with some energy in the third, getting a kill from Ferrao on an overpass to begin the set and a pretty tip from Julia de Sa over the block to give them a 4-2 lead early on. They held the two point lead to 6-4, but that is when things went South. Miami Dade went on a 7-1 run from there, taking over an 11-7 lead before parlaying that into a 20-12 cushion following five straight kills. Back to back FSW hitting errors on the outside gave the Sharks match point and they capitalized right away with a crosscourt smash to close out the third 25-14 and the match 3-0. The Bucs hit .250 in the set with 11 kills and just three errors, but couldn't slow down the Sharks, who hit an eye popping .500 with 19 kills to finish off FSW.
FSW hit .213 in the match while Dade swung at a .407 clip. Mendes put together a career best night with 16 kills and a .448 hitting percentage while also pacing the Bucs with three blocks in the loss. Giovanna Bello pulled up 12 digs to lead the FSW backline while Marina Alonso led the team with 23 assists.
The Bucs fall to 7-4 with the defeat while Miami Dade improves to 12-2 on the year.
FSW won't have long to lick their wounds as they make the quick turnaround in South Florida on Saturday when they take on Broward in a noon first serve in Davie.