Volleyball keeps postseason streak alive, falls to FGCU in ASUN tournament

Jacob Justice, Sports Reporter

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The University of North Florida (UNF) volleyball team competed in the ASUN tournament on Thursday, losing 3-0 in the quarterfinals against a tough Florida Gulf Coast (FGCU) squad, bringing the 2022 season to an end.

The tournament was played at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena, quite far from Jacksonville, but this UNF team is no stranger to away matchups this season.

The Ospreys had little to no answer for the FGCU offensive attack, losing all three sets by scores of 18-25, 20-25, and 20-25.

This loss brings the end of the season. however the accomplishments that were achieved by this Osprey unit will set a precedent for future seasons.

Volleyball player prepares to spike ball
The Ospreys’ season may have come to an end, but this season presented plenty to be proud of nonetheless. (David Heitz)

Outside hitter Solimar Cestero finished her incredible UNF career on Thursday, setting a school record of 141 matches played.

Freshman middle blocker Kierstyn Mcfall also provides hope for the future, with her 105 blocks this season being the most by a UNF freshman since the school entered the Division I  scene.

This season also brought UNF’s fifth straight ASUN tournament appearance under head coach Kristen Wright, a testament to how successful she has been at the helm of the program.

In addition to this achievement, this effort also marked the third straight season with a winning record in ASUN play.

Following Thursday’s loss,  Kristen Wright congratulated her team on their perseverance throughout a long season.

“Man, it’s a privilege to coach this team,” Wright said. “I just love them. They’re a group, a really new group that came together in June. We’ve been training so hard for five months and have dealt with tremendous obstacles and this team never quit.”

The Ospreys overcame tremendous obstacles indeed, with the recent renovations to UNF Arena causing this team to play only two home games this season, with the rest being played on the road or at their neutral site home, Jacksonville University’s Swisher Gymnasium.

Although the result of the tournament is not what this team and many others at UNF were hoping for, the perseverance and work ethic of this young Osprey unit provide a lot to be excited about in future seasons.


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