FNU drops the first two games of CAC pool play

FNU drops the first two games of pool play CAC Tournament graphic.
FNU drops the first two games of pool play CAC Tournament. (Nov. 9, 2023)

(Box Score) (Box Score 2)

TEMPLE TERRACE, Fla. ( Nov. 9, 2023) – Florida National’s women’s volleyball team was unable to pull off a win in the 2023 Continental Athletic Conference Tournament Nov. 9. The Conquistadors fell to Haskell Indian Nations University in straight sets before losing a heartbreaker to Florida College 3-2 to end their first day in Temple Terrace, Fla.

In game one, FNU put up a solid effort in the opening set before falling 25-23. Haskell escaped with the win despite FNU posting 15 kills in the frame to Haskell’s 12. Elis Cordova-Millet and Layla Cortez combined for eight kills in the first, but it was a kill from Jennifer Tuimaseve that secured Haskell a 1-0 lead. 

Cordova-Millet’s brilliance continued in the second set, as the Miami native posted two kills and a block in a stagnant 25-16 loss for FNU. Taysha Ortega picked up six assists despite FNU picking up five attacking errors. Haskell went on a 7-0 run midway through the game to take a 14-7 lead on a kill from Tressa Jim. Jim went on to end the set on a kill assisted by Kailey Becenti.

The third game of the match was a comfortable 25-20 win for Haskell. Attack errors from Gabriela Gonzalez and Cordova-Millet towards the end of the set up a kill from Aysa Benally to put an end to the contest. Gonzalez and Cortez combined for 18 kills while Taylor Purdy posted 17 digs.

In game two of the afternoon, Florida National came back from a 2-0 deficit before falling in a competitive fifth and final set. Florida College was hungry for redemption after suffering a 3-0 sweep earlier in the day against the College of the Ozarks. The Falcons kept FNU relatively quiet through the first two sets, holding FNU to 20 kills in the first two frames.

FNU’s comeback commenced in the third, with Brianna Grabowski picking up two kills in a huge block in the frame. The Conquistadors took a 21-19 lead on two attacking errors from Adriana Bravo and never looked back. Kills from Sofia Moreno Bendala and Grabowski ended the set in FNU’s favor and signaled a very important fourth set.

The Falcons just could not seem to shut the door on a determined FNU squad. Grabowski helped ice the set with three important kills down the stretch and FC’s attacks continued to commit costly attack errors in the fourth. Adriana Bravo’s attack mishap gave FNU a 25-20 win. 

In the fifth, the Falcons took a commanding 10-6 lead but of a couple of attacking errors from Raquel Teixeira pulled FNU within two scores. But Bravo came in clutch with a pair of kills to put some more daylight between FC and the Conquistadors. Leah Brown’s game-ending kill sent FNU back to the drawing board with two losses in pool play.

Purdy had 29 kills in the loss and Cortez posted 15 kills.

Up Next: FNU has one final game in pool play versus the College of the Ozarks tomorrow at 2:30 p.m.

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