Oct. 26, 2012
BOCA RATON, FL - Alessia Pizzoccheri's ninth double-double of the season was not enough to overtake Middle Tennessee, as the Florida Atlantic University volleyball team lost to the Blue Raiders in four sets (25-22, 17-25, 25-22, 25-18) on Friday night.
The Owls (6-16, 1-10 Sun Belt) were tied with MT at 11 in the first set, before the Blue Raiders (8-20, 5-6) managed to build a three point lead. FAU rallied to tie the score at 16. A Sara Stoll kill late in the set pulled the Owls to within a point of MT 22-21. However, the Blue Raiders took three of the next four points to win the set 25-22.
Cintia Nightingale served the Owls out to a 9-6 lead early in the second set. FAU remained in the drivers' seat for the rest of the set. Each time MT threatened to make a push, the Owls were able to contain the surge. A Blue Raider service ace trimmed the FAU cushion to just one at 14-13, but a service error, followed by kills from Jennifer St. Sume and Thacilli Pereira reestablished control for the Owls. They eventually won the set 25-17.
Set number three was a tug of war in the early going, with the two sides trading points. The score was tied at 7-7 when MT went on a 5-0 run. The lead grew to as many as seven, before the Owls made a charge late in the set and were within one at 23-22, but back-to-back Blue Raider points ended any hopes of a rally.
The fourth set began in a similar fashion to the third set, with neither squad able to maintain control. With the score tied at 7, Middle Tennessee went on a 5-2 run to take a 12-9 lead followed by FAU winning three points in a row to tie the score again, this time at 12. The Blue Raiders took a 16-13 lead following a 3-0 run. The stubborn Owls would not go away and pulled back to within a point. This time, the rally could not be completed and MT pulled away to clinch the match 25-18. St. Sume had eight kills in her first career start.
Florida Atlantic hosts no.19 Western Kentucky at 1 p.m. on Saturday.