Volleyball falls at Mercer with three to play

Spinnaker

By Zach Morgan

The UNF volleyball team (12-15, 3-7 Atlantic Sun) snapped its four-game winning streak Oct. 28 by dropping a critical conference game to the Mercer Bears. The team was swept 3-0 (18-25, 19-25 and 20-25) on the road.

Paige Pridgeon led the Ospreys in defeat with 10 kills and 10 digs. Offensively, the Ospreys struggled to find their rhythm until late in the third set. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late.

Mercer (10-17, 3-7 A-Sun) came out firing and raced to an early 7-2 lead against the Ospreys.
The Ospreys fought back to pull within a couple of points on two different occasions, but the Bears eventually used a 9-3 run to pull away and win the first set.

“I really don’t think there was anything they [Mercer] brought to us that earned the match, we
sort of lost,” head coach Kevin Campbell said.

North Florida gained its first lead of the match during the second set when it worked to a 10-8 lead over the Bears. However, Mercer would regain control when it rattled off five consecutive points to lead 13-10.

The Bears had two separate runs of five and four straight points to claim a huge 15-7 lead. The Bears closed the set and the match on back-to-back kills.

Despite the loss, the season is still intact. With a single game separating the Ospreys from the JU Dolphins for the 6th and final postseason spot, this friday’s edition of the River City Rumble in the Swisher Gymnasium is sure to be a thriller.

If anyone on the volleyball team understands the importance of this Friday’s game, it would be
juniors Pridgeon and Nicole Baran.

“It’s a huge match just because obviously we have to win more games to make it to the
conference tournament,” Pridgeon said. “So it’s a big one for us but it’s also a big one for our fans because it’s a rivalry game.”

“They’re a game ahead of us in the conference so if we beat them Friday night we’re actually
ahead of them because we have the head-to-head,” Baran said. “We’re going to take advantage of opportunities, like we always do.”

Upcoming Games: 11/4 @ JU