The Ospreys traveled to Buies Creek, NC and participated in the Hampton Inn & Suites of Holly Springs Invitational. They won their game on Friday Sept. 12 and dropped the next two on Saturday Sept. 13.
UNF now has three wins and seven losses for the year, with a home stand of four games looming this weekend. On Friday they beat the Elon University Phoenixes 3-2.
Elon won the first set 20-25, but the Ospreys came back and won the next two, 25-23 and 25-19. They closed the third set on a 4-1 run and took a 2-1 advantage over Elon for the match. The Phoenixes came back to win the fourth set 25-19 before the Ospreys opened the final set with a 10-5 run. The final score was 15-9 Ospreys.
Head Coach Steve Loeswick was pleased with the way the team closed out the win after a good week of practice.
“We had a nice week of training heading into the weekend. I thought through the weekend we continued to play pretty well,” Loeswick said. “The match against Elon, that was good. We were able to finish that on a high note. That’s a good win for our group.”
On Saturday, UNF was shut out by the host team, the Campbell University Fighting Camels. The first set was tied halfway through before Campbell pulled away and won it 25-21.
Tessa Alyman tied the second set at 19 with a kill before the Fighting Camels won the set 25-22. Alyman, a junior, had 10 kills and 9 digs for the game. Up 23-22 in the final set, the Ospreys gave up three-straight points to close out the game. Freshman Courtney Miller led the team with 15 kills.
“On their home court, they play with a lot of confidence,” Loeswick said. “They handled the serve and pass part of the game a lot better than we did. Even though we weren’t passing extremely well, we had some opportunities. All three sets were really close and we just needed to make a couple plays at the net.”
The next match-up against the South Carolina Gamecocks saw UNF win the first set 25-20. The Ospreys built a six-point lead and eventually won the first set on a Miller kill.
Down 24-17 late in the second set, UNF cut a seven-point deficit down to four with three consecutive scores. The momentum died on a service error, handing the Gamecocks the second set, 25-20.
South Carolina won the third set 25-17 and won the fourth set 25 -23. The Ospreys fought hard to overcome a six-point deficit during the fourth set by tying the game up at 19. The Gamecocks ended scored four-straight points to pull away and clinch the match.
Freshman Carinne Turner had 32 assists to lead the team. Miller had 7 kills and 15 digs, while Alyman had 15 kills.
“I thought we matched up better with them,” Loeswick said about the South Carolina match. “We did some nice things winning the first set and having an opportunity to win the fourth set. It could have gone either way.”
UNF will host the Radisson Invitational against Nicholls at 10 a.m. on Friday Sept. 19, followed by Charlotte at 7 p.m. that night. They play Dayton at 10 a.m. on Saturday Sept. 20 and UNC Asheville at 3 p.m. later that day.
Coach Loeswick is looking forward to seeing his team improve in front of the home fans. “We have four pretty good teams coming in and we’re gonna look to get better each time we go out there. We’d love to have a positive outcome and I think our team is heading in the right direction.”
Gallery photos by Bennett Scarborough/Scarborough Photography[doptg id=”25″]
Email Charles White at [email protected]