Volleyball falls to ETSU in first match at conference tournament


The volleyball team competed in the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament Nov. 26, knowing that it had met its goal for the season.

The Ospreys’ first match was against the No. 3 seed East Tennessee State University, which proved to be a tough and competitive match for UNF.

The Ospreys fell to the Bucs, 3-0 (25-22, 25-17, 25-18).  Sophomore outside hitter Paige Pridgeon, who recorded 11 kills and 10 digs in the match, led the team and completed her 15th double-double of the season.

Senior outside hitter Jessica Catelano added seven kills to the match while freshman setter Britt Claessens notched 35 assists. The loss to the Bucs ended the Ospreys’ season.

“I feel like we had a very strong season, especially toward the end,” head coach Kevin Campbell said. “We have a number of sophomores and freshman from this season who gained a lot experience of how to continuously improve.”

Campbell said she plans to advance past the first round of the conference tournament and eventually win the A-Sun. The conference schedule will also change next year, going from a single round, to a round-and-a-half.

The altered schedule is becoming more like a normal Division I volleyball schedule, Campbell said, which works in the Ospreys’ favor.

For next year, the Ospreys have four recruits coming into the program and will have no seniors on the roster.

“We’ll have four juniors, four sophomores and between four and eight freshman depending on how the class rounds out, and we just have a really strong future ahead,” Campbell said.

Catelano saw her last game with the Ospreys against the Bucs after the team’s dream of going to the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament came true

“I am very sad because I really really love this team. They are like family to me, you know?” she said. “And we spent so much time together, and I really love those girls.”

Although her undergraduate time is coming to an end, she will always try to make an appearance to see the Ospreys play again, she said.

Other seniors on the team include Chelsea Rab and Marshay Greenlee.

“It was mission accomplished and we were really happy, but we also did our best during the game,” Catelano said.

Pridgeon will return next season as a junior, along with Nicole Baran, Marija Pantovic, Allison Shirley and Dagnija Medina also returning as juniors.

“I think it just starts with everyone working hard, not only in practice but in the weight room, getting stronger and conditioning, getting faster and then putting it all together in practice,” Pridgeon said. “I think we just start with working hard together again in the spring.”

Playing as a team earlier in the season, like the Ospreys showed late this season, is one main goal Pridgeon said she would like to see set and accomplished.

“It’s definitely going to be our goal again to make it to the conference tournament but even do better when we get there this time,” she said.

Pridgeon said she would like to see the team always play as cohesively as it did at the end of the season.