The Kennesaw State volleyball team spent the weekend in Florida and came back with a 1-1 split. The Owls defeated the Stetson University Hatters in three straight sets, but they failed to sweep the weekend after losing 3-2 against the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles.
Ten days ago, Kennesaw State University (16-10, 10-2 ASUN) and Florida Gulf Coast University (23-5, 9-3 ASUN) were tied for first place in the ASUN Conference with Lipscomb University (18-7, 10-2 ASUN) trailing just behind them.
Since then, FGCU lost two matches — first against the University of North Florida, then against Lipscomb, a team that has used an eight-game winning streak to catapult the Bison to the top of the standings.
Florida Gulf Coast then had to turn around and play KSU on Saturday, Nov. 5. This was a big match for both teams — FGCU wanted to remain in third place, and KSU wanted to keep its one-game lead over Lipscomb.
In their first meeting in early October, the Owls used the home court advantage to sweep the Eagles. This time, however, FGCU refused to lose for the third time in a week in its own gym, pulling to win the fifth set 15-9 and the match 3-2.
“Tonight is obviously disappointing for everyone in our locker room,” said KSU head coach Keith Schunzel.
Junior outside hitter Anaiah Boyer and senior opposite hitter Kelly Marcinek each had big nights, combining for 36 of KSU’s 60 total kills. Boyer also added 14 digs, which was second on the team behind junior libero Katrina Morton’s 23 digs.
Kristie Piedimonte once again led in assists as she had 53 of the team’s 55 assists.
“The next step for us is to have more of our players making big plays in big moments,” Schunzel said. “That, unfortunately, didn’t happen tonight, but we have a team full of players capable of doing just that.”
With Kennesaw and Lipscomb tied, each team will host UNF (18-11, 8-4 ASUN) in the final weekend of the season.
The ASUN looked like a three-team race for a long time, but the Ospreys of North Florida have now joined the pack. After beating FGCU last week, UNF finds itself in another great chance to play spoiler to KSU, Lipscomb or both in the final week of play.
“We’re going to prepare to play two good matches at home next weekend, and then head to Nashville and play a great conference tournament,” Schunzel said.
KSU will get back in action against UNF in the Convocation Center at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7.
The team will play its last home game at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, against Jacksonville University. The Owls will be honoring Fanise Cannon and Kelly Marcinek for Senior Day.