Bucs Take Seesaw Battle Over #19 Daytona

Maria Cecilia (Photo by Brad Young/BradYoungPhoto.com)
Maria Cecilia (Photo by Brad Young/BradYoungPhoto.com)
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.- In a place known for tight battles down the homestretch, the #1 Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers scratched out a 3-1 win on the road at #19 Daytona State Saturday afternoon, getting a season high 19 kills from Elissa Alcantara and a program record 17 blocks as a team to sweep the regular season series with the Falcons. 
Celebrating Homecoming weekend on campus, Daytona came out ready to go on Saturday, jumping out to a 13-11 lead on the Bucs midway through the first. The Bucs were forced to call a timeout to slow the Falcons momentum at 18-15 and came back out of the break with five straight points, highlighted by a pair of kills from Elissa Alcantara and a big block from Alcantara and Ribeiro to flip the script and give FSW a 20-18 advantage. Daytona had an answer of their own, scoring four of the next five points to go back in front 22-21. Another stuff from Alcantara and Ribeiro drew the Bucs even and they finish the set strong with their sixth block of the period, this time by Julia Lawrenz and Barbara Koehler to take it 25-23 and go ahead 1-0 in the match. 
It was all FSW early in the second as they opened a 9-3 lead to begin the set and stretched it to 16-6 on a kill from Maria Cecilia. Just when it looked like FSW was smooth sailing to a 2-0 lead, the Falcons came roaring back on their home floor. Daytona scored six straight to cut the Bucs lead to 16-12 and after a service error, scored four more in a row to close the gap to just one at 17-16.  A kill from Alcantara got the Bucs back on track and back to back blocks from Ribeiro on opposite pins cushioned the FSW lead back to four at 20-16.  Daytona threatened once more, drawing to within two at 23-21, but Lawrenz and Cecilia combined on a block to end any thought of a Falcon comeback as the Bucs took it 25-21 to go ahead 2-0 in the match. 
The third set could only be described as a roller coaster for the Bucs.  FSW got off to a good start, leading the set 8-4 after an ace from Koehler early on.  A lift called on the Bucs gave the Falcons the ball back and they took advantage, rolling off eight of the next nine points to erase the FSW lead and take a 12-9 lead of their own.  A kill from Cecilia stopped the Daytona momentum momentarily, but the Falcons were right back at it a short time later, again going on a big run, this one a 10-1 jaunt to blow the score open to 23-11. The wild game of runs continued from there, but this time it was the Bucs turn to make a move.  Left for dead, the Bucs rolled off nine in a row, including three more kills for Alcantara to trim their deficit to just three at 23-20.  A crucial service error halted the run and Daytona was able to close the Bucs out two points later at 25-21 to push the game to the fourth. 
The Bucs looked like they were in trouble as Daytona jumped out to a 10-5 lead in the fourth and held a four point advantage midway through at 14-10. A crosscourt rocket from Maria Petkova got the Bucs back on track from there and in the blink of an eye FSW had the score tied back up at 16-16.  The Bucs and Falcons two stepped the next six points to 19-19 when a three straight kills from Daytona pushed them back in front 22-19.  A Daytona service error gave the Bucs the ball back and an ace from Petkova drew FSW to within one at 22-21.  A kill from Alcantara leveled things and after trading points it was 23-23.  Daytona went to the slide to try to retake the lead, but their attack went wide and on the Bucs first chance at match point, they capitalized as Alcantara skied over the block for a kill to give the Bucs the set 25-23 and the match 3-1. 
The Bucs finished with a program record 17 blocks in the victory as Ribeiro and Lawrenz each had 8 in the middle and Alcantara had 7 on the right side. Alcantara also paced the Bucs offense with a season high 19 kills while hitting .357   Koehler finished off 14 kills on 40 swings on the afternoon while Cecilia had 10 kills without an error on 23 swings of her own. Fiona Baker racked up 29 assists and 19 digs in the win while fellow setter Yunju Lee had a double-double of her own with 16 assists and 10 digs. 
The win is the 14th straight for FSW as they improve to 17-2 overall and 12-0 in Suncoast Conference play with the victory.  It also marks the ninth win over a Top 20 ranked opponent for the Bucs this season.  Daytona falls to 9-5 overall and 8-4 in conference play with the defeat. 
After three games in five days, the Bucs will enjoy a small reprieve until taking the court again at home on Tuesday when they host Eastern Florida in their second to last regular season home game of the year at 6 PM in Suncoast Credit Union Arena.