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Volleyball struggles in conference

Mercer Athletics
Mercer Athletics

The Mercer volleyball team competed in four Atlantic Sun Conference games over the past two weeks. Stetson University beat the Mercer volleyball team Sept. 27 3-1 (25-22, 18-25, 25-12, 25-20) at the Edmunds Center in DeLand, Fla. The loss caused the Bears to drop to 0-3 in conference, while Stetson remained unbeaten at 3-0.

Sophomore Molly Locke made 16 kills during the game, the match high, but Stetson had four players reach double-digit kill totals. Locke's 16 kills came on 51 swings, paired with seven digs.

The Bears lost the first set by three points, but evened the match out in the second set with a .375 hitting percentage. Locke made five of her 16 kills in the frame on just eight attempts, while four other Mercer players recorded at least a kill.

Stetson quickly took the lead, 5-1 in the third set, and held it for the rest of the match eventually scoring 25 points to Mercer’s 12. In the fourth set, the teams were tied 20-20 before Stetson scored 5 points in a row to win the match.

Mercer-senior Emily Rochefort made 16 digs in the final set and junior Carly Iannarino made 34 assists.

The next day Mercer volleyball traveled to Fort Myers, Fla. to battle the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles at Alico Arena.

Junior Caroline Carlton led the team with 15 kills and only four errors. However, Mercer's volleyball team fell to Florida Gulf Coast. 3-0 (28-26, 25-13, 25-1).

In the first set, Mercer led the match 24-22 before the Eagles came back to claim the victory. In the second set, the Eagles broke away from a 7-7 tie and led the rest of the set

Senior Emily Rochefort and sophomore Molly Locke combined for 23 digs in the loss. Senior Carly Iannarino passed out 30 assists while recording four digs, a kill and a service ace.

The defeat marked Mercer volleyball's twelfth-straight loss, dropping the team to one win in 14 games and no wins out of four conference games. The game was Florida Gulf Coast's third-straight victory and moved them to a season 4-10 and 3-1 in the Atlantic Sun.

Carlton achieved a .355 hitting percentage because her 15 kills were on 31 assists. She also had four service aces and four digs. Mercer-senior Zoe Becton, had six kills on 14 attempts for a .357 attacking efficiency, narrowly beating her teammate.

The following weekend the Mercer volleyball team hosted the University of North Florida and Jacksonville University consecutive days. Mercer suffered a 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-20) loss to North Florida Friday and a 3-0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-15) loss to Jacksonville Saturday.

Freshman Ellie James led the team Friday with seven kills on 22 swings with just three errors for a .182 hitting percentage.  Sophomore Jordan Gollon led the team in attacking efficiency, achieving a hitting .444 hitting percentage.

Mercer lost three sets in a row, reluctantly yielding the game to North Florida.

Senior Emily Rochefort collected 15 digs in the loss and senior setter Carly Iannarino registered a team-high 16 assists.

Mercer volleyball’s game against Jacksonville played out in a similar fashion. The team fell in straight-sets to Jacksonville  Jacksonville moved to 14-2 season, 5-1 in the Atlantic Sun conference and the Bears dropped to 1-15 season, 0-6 Atlantic Sun conference.

Junior setter Carly Iannarino made 17 assists, two digs and a kill.  Senior Emily Rochefort added another eight digs, two assists and two service aces.


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