Women’s volleyball kills way to home opening win

Josh Brannock

The UNF women’s volleyball team defeated FAMU 3-0 in the team’s first home game of the season.
Photo by Katarina Lubet

The UNF women’s volleyball took to the court of the UNF arena for the first time this year as it took on the Rattlers from Florida A&M after starting the season 1-4.

The Ospreys (2-4) were able to manhandle FAMU (0-7) on their way to picking up their second win of the season, 3-0 (25-18, 25-22,25-22).

UNF played in front of a home crowd of 463 rowdy fans. Senior outside hitter Carolyn Jenkins attributed some of the win to the loud crowd.

“It’s important (the fans), they contribute to a lot of our success on the court,” she said. “They really help us and we really hope that people continue to come out and help us win.”

Head coach Steve Loeswick was also took notice to the crowd at the game.

“I can’t say enough about the group of fans that came out here tonight. I hope they enjoyed it and continue to show up.”

UNF started the match with complete dominance. The Ospreys won the first set without ever losing the lead. The closest score in the opening set was 6-5.

UNF went on runs of four straight points, five straight points and ended the match on a 10-8 run. Marija Pantovic had four of her ten total kills in the first set including a kill for set point.

The next two matches would be much closer between both teams.

The second set started with the Ospreys going on a 5-1 run that was led by Julie Trembley who scored three straight service points for the Ospreys.

After the early run FAMU took control of the match by scoring seven straight points and taking an 8-5 lead over the Ospreys. The Rattlers would lead the set until UNF tied the set at 18-18.

UNF managed to regain the lead at 22-21 and held the lead for the remainder of the set, winning 25-22.

The third and final set was as highly contested as the second set. Unlike the second set, neither team could go on a run and manage to take more than a two point lead for majority of the set.

With the match tied at 21 a piece, Pantovic would once again play a big role for UNF. Pantovic received a ball from setter Britt Claessens, one of her 42 on the night, and smashed home a kill to give UNF a 22-21 lead.

The Ospreys wouldn’t relinquish the lead and finished the set and match with a 25-22 win.

“We’ve continued to improve each week so it’s not a surprise that we played well,” Loeswick said. “I’m excited for the potential of the team and I see some room for improvement and think we will continue to get stronger as the year goes on.”

Jenkins, who had 16 total kills in the match, said that the overall play of her teammates led to the win, not a single player.

“We had a lot of great ups, a lot of great passes and that just opened up a lot of the court and just really confused the blockers from the other team,” she said.

Heading into tomorrows double header Loeswick said the team will continue to look at the film and continue to focus on the team as a whole. Loeswick said if there will be any changes it will only be slight adjustments in the way the team executes it’s plays.

“The first match at home of the year is often a time when a team gets tense and over excited to play,” he said. “Tomorrow we’re gonna come out with the experience under our belt and I think we’re going to come out a little bit more relaxed.”

UNF will finish the Radisson North Florida Invitational tomorrow as it host’s Presbyterian at noon and completes the tournament against Davidson University in prime time at 7 pm.