Posted: Sep 14, 2021
FORT MYERS, Fla.- The #2 Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers started a different lineup in all three sets Tuesday night in a marquee matchup with #19 Daytona State in Suncoast Credit Union Arena but it didn't seem to matter much as the Bucs swept the Falcons by matching 25-13 scores in all three periods to take over sole possession of first place in the Suncoast Conference standings.
Early on it looked like it was going to be an evenly matched battle between the final two unbeaten teams in Suncoast Conference play as FSW and Daytona split the first eight points of the first set to find themselves at a 4-4 deadlock in the first. Back to back blocks for the Bucs, first from Julia Lawrenz and Barbara Koehler and then Lawrenz and Maria Cecilia on the other pin jumpstarted a 12-4 run for FSW to give them a 14-6 lead midway through the period. They continued to hammer away at the Falcons, attacking from all angles to push their lead to 10 before mercifully putting Daytona away 25-13 to take a 1-0 lead in the match. The Bucs hit .385 as a team in the set while holding Daytona to a negative hitting percentage at -.034 thanks to six first set FSW blocks.
In the second the Bucs took control right off the bat and never looked back. Lawrenz was in on two more blocks and Maria Petkova banged two balls through the Falcons defense to give FSW an early 9-3 lead. They stretched their lead to nine on an ace from Koehler later on and finished off another 25-13 set win with a Maiana Coehlo to Johnasia Carr hookup in the middle to give them a commanding 2-0 lead at the intermission. The Bucs offense was electric once again, ending the period with 17 kills and just two errors, good for a .429 hitting mark while siding out on 12 of 14 chances.
FSW went to their bench and mixed up their lineup again in the third, but it proved of little consequence as once again they found themselves in control early, leading 10-6 after Yunju Lee found Maria Cecilia on the right side for a kill and extending their lead to 14-7 on a huge block from Riley Oglevie and Victoria Carioba on the outside. Three straight kills from Oglevie pushed the Bucs lead to 10 and a kill from Abigail Smith on the right side upped the FSW advantage to 22-11 late in the set. The only thing left in the balance was what the final score to the set would be and for the third straight period, lucky 13 was the number as Fiona Baker hooked up with Carioba in the middle for a picture perfect kill to seal a 25-13 win and finish off the sweep. The Bucs hit .517 as a team in the third set and couldn't have any better in the serving battle, siding out on each of their 13 opportunities in the period for the first time this season.
All 16 FSW players on the roster saw action in the win and all 16 found their way into one of the major stat columns. 10 different Bucs had kills in the victory, led by Petkova who finished with nine and Koehler who had seven. As a team FSW hit a season best .444 with just five errors on 90 swings while finishing off 45 kills. Baker finished with a team best 22 assists while Petkova and Arianna Rossi reached double digits in digs and Lawrenz paced the club with six blocks. The Bucs held the Nation's leading hitter Svea Frobel to just seven kills on 36 swings while forcing her into 10 errors on the night.
The Bucs win their sixth straight, improving to 9-2 overall and 4-0 in Suncoast Conference play with the win. The win over the 19th ranked Falcons is FSW's sixth over a top 20 ranked opponent this season. Daytona falls to 4-2 overall and sees their first blemish to their conference record, dropping to 3-1.
FSW continues a busy two week stretch on Thursday as they make the long trip across the state to Melbourne to take on Eastern Florida in more Suncoast Conference action. They return home Saturday for their third top 20 matchup in 10 days when they host #14 Hillsborough in a 2 PM matinee affair.