TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Dec. 5) - The Florida A&M University Volleyball dropped a 3-2 (22-25, 25-18, 25-23, 20-25, 13-15) heartbreaker to Jacksonville State University in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, here at Tully Gymnasium on the campus of Florida State University.
“Well, it doesn’t matter where you play, it’s always disappointing (to lose). We would have loved to advance and maybe have the opportunity to play Florida State and pack the gym tomorrow but it wasn’t our day today,” said Head Coach Tony Trifonov.
FAMU (17-10) had two Lady Rattlers to finish with double-digit kills as senior outside hitter Maria Gomez led the way with 19, while junior outside hitter Jovana Blazeski finished with 16. Jessica Bond finished with a game high 44 assists, while Susan Egoavil finished with a game high 17 digs.
In the first set, a Pamela Barrera kill gave the Lady Rattlers a 3-1 lead. But a Caitlin Bourbeck kill would tie the set at 3-3.
A FAMU hitting error would give JSU a 9-6 lead, capping a 3-0 run.
Gomez would give the Lady Rattlers a 12-10 lead capping a 6-0 run.
A Gamecocks service error would tie the game at 13-13.
FAMU would take an 18-15 lead by capitalizing on two kills by Pamela Barrera and a Gomez, following by two JSU hitting errors.
The Gamecocks would turn three FAMU attack error and an Alyx Schulte to take a 20-19 lead, capping a 5-1 run.
Three FAMU attack errors would give JSU a 24-20 lead. The Lady Rattlers would drop the first set, 25-22.
In the second set, FAMU grabbed a 2-0 lead on a pair of kills by Blazeski and Maria Ceccarelli.
JSU would tie the set at 2-2 on a kill by Kara Slater and a FAMU ball handing error.
FAMU would a 9-4 lead on a Barrera kill, three JSU hitting errors along with a service error, capping a 7-2 run. The Lady Rattlers would then extend their lead to 12-6 pm a Gamecock hitting error.
The Gamecocks would cut FAMU’s lead to 10-13 on a Brittney Whitten kill, that would the closes as JSU would get as the Lady Rattlers won the second set 25-18.
In the third set, the Gamecocks grabbed the early 2-0 lead on a FAMU ball handingling erros and a Vorbeck service ace.
FAMU would a 3-2 lead on a Jessica Bond service ace.
Kara Slater would then tie the game 5-5 for the JSU. The Gamecocks would then go up 8-5 on a Schulte kill.
The Lady Rattlers would then go on a 6-0 run to take an 11-8 lead on a Ceccarelli service ace.
An FAMU attack error would tie the set at 17-17. JSU would tie the score again at 18-18 on a kill by Slater. Then the Gamecocks would take a 20-19 lead on a FAMU attack error.
The Lady Rattlers would then go on a 6-3 run to close out the third set 25-23.
In a nip and tuck fourth set, JSU would take a 16-15 lead on a service ace, then would build their lead to 20-17 on a Slater kill.
The Gamecocks would convert three kills and two FAMU errors to win the fourth set 25-20.
In the fifth and deciding match would resemble a heavyweight bout with neither opponent giving an inch.
FAMU grabbed a 7-5 lead on a kill by Blazeski and three JSU attack errors. In a set, that featured six ties. The Lady Rattlers would tie the set at 13-13 on a Blazeski kill.
But a Lady Rattler attack error and a service error would end the 2009 season as they bowed out of the fifth set, 15-13.
JSU (27-7) also had two Gamecocks to finish in double-digits kills as Brittney Whitten finished with a team high 19 kills, while Caitlin Vorbeck tallied 12. Brooke Schumacher led the team in assists, while Lauren Harkins finished with a team high 15 digs.
The Gamecocks will play Florida State in the championship game on Sunday, December 6 at Tully Gymnasium in a 5 p.m. start.