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The Bear Breakdown: Updates in men's and women's soccer and volleyball

Kevin Kim (#7) goes up against Aiden Jokomba (#11) in the game against Florida Gulf Coast University on Sunday, Sept 11. The Bears fell 3-2 to the Eagles, bringing them to a 2-2-2 overall record.
Kevin Kim (#7) goes up against Aiden Jokomba (#11) in the game against Florida Gulf Coast University on Sunday, Sept 11. The Bears fell 3-2 to the Eagles, bringing them to a 2-2-2 overall record.

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Men's Soccer

The Bears faced the Hokies of Virginia Tech on Monday night. In Blacksburg, Virginia, Mercer came away with a 3-2 win. The team was led by Dylan Gaither, who netted a goal and an assist, giving him a team-high of 9 points on the season. Gaither’s goal from half-field was highlighted on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays the following day.

On Friday, Mercer had a tough game in Tampa, Florida against the University of South Florida. The Bears were shut out 2-0 in their first loss of the season. The Bulls created many chances, but Trevor McMullin was solid between the sticks, limiting the home team’s success.

The Bears hosted Florida Gulf Coast University on Sunday, losing the heartbreaker 3-2. The sides were evenly-matched, with Mercer scoring early on in the game via penalty and the Eagles leveling the score a minute before the halftime whistle. The second half ended frantically with 3 goals being scored in the final 10 minutes, ultimately leaving the Eagles ahead of the Bears. Tempers flared in the second half, producing seven yellow cards among both teams and one red for Jovoney Brown of the visitors. 

The team (2-2-2) will look to bounce back from their loss with a game at home on Friday when they will face the University of Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos at 7 p.m.

Women’s Soccer

The Women’s soccer game, set for Sunday, Sept. 4, was canceled at halftime due to weather conditions and deemed a no-contest. Because of this, the statistics from the first half will not count for either team or any of their players. 

On Friday, the Bears’ offense ran rampant against the Bulldogs of South Carolina State. A 9-0 win saw both Sydney Farr and Kendall Cook net hat tricks. Cook, who was recently named the Offensive Player of the Month in the SoCon for August, made a case for earning the same honor in September with her most recent performance. The defense held stout, allowing only two shots on goal all night, each of which was easily dealt with by the keepers, Lindsay Bell and Belle Martinez. Mercer held steady possession of the game from the start, not allowing the Bulldogs to get a handle on the ball for more than a few passes at a time. 

Sunday night, the Georgia State Panthers came to Macon. The Bears scored in the 6th minute, although the visitors would wrest the lead from the home side with goals in the 35th and 53rd minutes. However, Mercer would not give up; Kendall Cook netted a penalty in the 83rd minute to bring the teams level. The tie brings the team to 4-1-2 on the season, putting them well above the rest of their SoCon competition.

Their next game is on Thursday, Sept. 15, at Oklahoma State.

Volleyball

The Bears went 2-1 in Deland, Florida as they competed in the Stetson Invitational over the weekend. They played Bethune-Cookman University on Friday, Sept. 9 then took on Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Stetson University on Saturday, Sept 10. 

They started the tournament strong, defeating BCU 3-1: 25-20, 23-25, 25-16 and 25-19. The Bears had a total of 63 kills compared to the Wildcats’ 40. 18 kills came from Annie Karle, 16 from Lilian Beardsley, and 11 from Paige Wagers. Lexi Uhrahn had 14 digs for the night, Karle had 10 and Abbey Havrilla had nine. 

They kept the ball rolling against SIU-E on Saturday, winning in three sets and allowing the Cougars to only take one set off them (25-20). They quickly bounced back thanks to 22 kills from Karle who has proved herself to be an asset for the Bears’ front row. Karle also had 15 digs and three aces for the night. 

They were swept 3-0 against Stetson: 25-21, 25-15 and 25-23. The three games put them at a 4-5 record as they go into the Virginia Tournament on Friday, Sept. 16 and Saturday, Sept 17. They play the University of Maryland, the University of Virginia, and East Carolina University. 


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