HIALEAH, Fla. ( Oct. 10, 2023) – Florida National University’s women’s volleyball team (4-8) fell short of the mark in a 3-2 loss to the University of Maine at Fort Kent (13-0). The Bengals were a tough opponent for FNU, racking up 12 dominant wins coming into the 7 p.m. contest at Bucky Dent Park.
This five-set thriller was a back-and-forth battle with FNU taking an early 25-19 win in the opening set. Two straight attack errors from the Bengals ended the set in FNU’s favor. Brianna Grabowski was electric with two kills in the frame.
Despite falling behind early, UMFT won the next two sets to take a 2-1 lead in the match. The Bengals dominated the second 25-20 and survived 28-26 in the third. FNU led the way with 22 kills through both frames, while the Bengals put up 20 in the same window of time.
The Conquistadors stormed back in the fourth to force a fifth set, winning 25-18. Layla Cortez sent FNU to the fifth on an assist from Taysha Ortega. To their credit, Fort Kent was facing a 22-13 deficit but forced an FNU timeout after putting up four straight points. The Conquistadors’ lead proved too much for the visiting Bengals to overcome and it seemed fitting for this battle at the Dent to be pushed to one final set.
FNU was rolling early in the fifth, taking an 8-2 lead after a service ace from Cortez forced a timeout from UMFK. As both teams switched sides, so did the momentum of the game. UMFK played its way back into contention, taking a 14-13 lead. The Bengals shut the door on FNU with a service ace from Halle Ham and an attack error from Cortez for a 17-15 win in the frame.
Cortez had 17 kills in the contest and Elis Cordova-Millet had a block party for one with four solo rejections at the net.
Up Next: FNU has two matches on Oct. 11 versus Maine Fort Kent and Keiser University in West Palm Beach, Fla., starting at 1 p.m.