Posted: Oct 12, 2021
FORT MYERS, Fla.- The Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers showed why they are the #1 ranked team in the country Tuesday night at home against Eastern Florida State, steamrolling the Titans 3-0 for their 15th consecutive win on the season.
It was all FSW, all night, and that started early as the Bucs raced out to a 7-1 lead to begin the match behind a big serve from freshman Deborah Ribeiro. After an Eastern sideout, the Bucs continued their push, scoring seven straight, including a pair of blocks from Johnasia Carr, to stretch their lead all the way to 14-2. Fiona Baker connected with Maria Cecilia for a kill to make it 20-5 FSW and Barbara Koehler slammed an overpass to the ground on set point to give the Bucs the first 25-10. FSW hit .448 in the first while registering four blocks defensively to help hold the Titans to a -.156 mark in the period.
In the second it was more of the same. Back to back kills from Koehler early on had the Bucs up 10-5 and a 6-0 run with Arianna Rossi at the service line stretched their advantage to 16-6 midway through. Maria Petkova hit a crosscourt rocket to put the Bucs up 20-7 and as she did in the first, Koehler finished off the second with a kill, this time on a dish from Maiana Coelho, to give the Bucs the set 25-11 to go ahead 2-0 at the intermission. Eastern had no answer for the Bucs in the second as FSW finished with 16 kills and just one error, good for a .536 hitting percentage. Koehler finished the set with five kills while Petkova had four without a single error.
The Bucs finally showed a chink in their armor in the start of the third and found themselves down 10-9 before the 20 point mark. A kill from Riley Oglevie tied the score and started a 7-0 run for the Bucs to give them a 16-10 lead later in the period. A timeout couldn't slow the Bucs momentum as they continued to push, stretching the run to 9-0 on a backrow bullet from Koehler and then an ace from the freshman to make it an 18-10 game. The Bucs turned it up a notch on the block to close thing out, first getting a stuff from Cecilia and Julia Lawrenz to push them to match point before Lawrenz and Koehler teamed up for another one point later to give FSW the set 25-16 and the match 3-0.
FSW hit .371 as a team in the win, finishing with 39 kills and just 6 errors in the match. Petkova paced the offense with 10 kills without an error while Ribeiro and Koehler each had 8 putaways. Baker dished out 16 assists to lead the way for the Bucs while Rossi had a match high 16 digs and Carr and Koehler led the front row with 4 blocks each.
The Bucs improve to 18-2 overall and 13-0 in Suncoast Conference play where they clinch at least a share of their second straight Conference Championship and the #1 seed for next month's FCSAA State Tournament in Suncoast Arena. Eastern Florida falls to 5-12 overall and 3-10 in league play where they sit one game out of the final playoff spot for the State Tournament.
FSW will look to clinch a conference title all to their own on Thursday when they travel to Tampa to take on #17 Hillsborough in the two team's second matchup of the year.