Video by Ronnetha Rogers and Joslyn Simmons
The Ospreys split its final two regular season home games during senior weekend. On Friday night, UNF swept NJIT, but on Saturday, the tables turned.
NJIT (25-18, 25-18, 25-14)
The Ospreys (18-10 overall, 8-3 ASUN) dominated the Highlanders (9-20 overall, 1-10 ASUN) on senior night, despite being injury ridden the whole season.
Head Coach Steve Loeswick said, “I had to play some people out of position, we are currently down four starters.”
The most recent Osprey to be sidelined by injury is setter Carrine Turner. She could be seen on the sideline with a boot on her right leg. Turner is listed as a setter, but after other Osprey injuries, the junior had been playing outside hitter this season. It is unknown when she will return.
Katarina Raicevic had a game-high 10 kills in addition to five digs and two aces.
Gabby O’Connell had nine kills, one service ace and a career best 20 digs for the Ospreys.
The Highlanders had no player in double figures for kills. NJIT had only 25 kills and a hitting percentage of .45 in comparison to UNF’s 36 kills and .225 hitting percentage.
Due to numerous UNF injuries Taryn Griffey was able to see more minutes than usual. The freshman middle blocker gave UNF an unexpected boost. Griffey had nine kills, four blocking assist and two digs.
Setter Madilyn McCarty had a game high 29 assist, eight digs and four blocking assist.
After closing out the game, UNF honored its four seniors in front of over 300 fans.
USC Upstate (24-26, 25-17,25-22)
USC Upstate (12-17 overall,4-8 ASUN) swept the Ospreys (18-11 overall, 8-4 ASUN) in its final regular season home game, after multiple injuries and errors finally caught up to UNF.
Upstate took advantage of a fatigued UNF team. Both teams were virtually even in every category, but Upstate was able to go on long runs, while the Ospreys fought long and hard for every point.
Many of the Ospreys points were few and far between, the Spartans had a slight edge over them.UNF had many errors, 18 attacking and 10 serving, essentially giving the Spartans 28 free points.
“They’ve given it their best and tonight caught up to us.” said Loeswick
Gabby O’Connell tried to put the team on her back, but her extraordinary efforts were not enough. The freshman earned her 11th double-double of the season, with a game-high 19 kill and 10 digs
Katarina Raicevic had a team-high 17 digs in addition to nine kills. She was just one kill away from recording her third double-double of the season.
Loeswick spoke on the play. “They dug a lot of balls and got some of our hitters a little bit frustrated and we ended up making a few too many attacking error,”Loeswick said. “[But] we have a team that will continue to battle.”
UNF fought very hard during its regular season home finale, but were unable to close out the game.
Next the Ospreys play at Kennesaw State on Nov. 11 at 7 p.m.
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