SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 01, 2012
FIT Closes Out Valdosta State Tournament with Two More Wins
VALDOSTA, Ga. (Volleyball) – In the final day of the Fairfield Inn and Suites Azalea Classic on Saturday, Florida Tech (3-1) defeated Converse (0-4) and Lander (2-2) at Valdosta State’s The Complex.
The Panthers swept Converse in their first match of the day by scores of 25-10, 25-19 and 25-22. They then pulled out a hard-fought win over Lander despite dropping the third set (25-23, 25-21, 22-25, 25-22).
FIT’s 3-1 start is its best since 2008 when it began the season with a 10-0 record. Coincidentally, the Panthers also swept Converse that year.
“We weren’t as consistent as I would have liked today, but we had some players that stepped up in both games,” head coach Amy O’Brien said. “Marilyn Dick, one of our freshmen, hit really well again. She started the day hitting .375 in the first match and .282 in the second. Angie Lassman, our libero, did outstanding. I had a lot of coaches come up to me and say she was one of the best liberos in the gym. She ended with 39 digs in the second match, which is phenomenal.”
In the first set against Converse, FIT mounted a 9-0 run and never looked back. The momentum the Panthers generated propelled them to close wins in sets two and three.
Marilyn Dick led the Panthers with eight kills. Kaitlin Brennan added five and recorded a sparkling .714 hitting percentage. Angie Lassman had four service aces and a team-high 16 digs.
In the final match of the tournament for both teams, FIT and Lander went toe-to-toe to see which team would leave the tournament with a winning record. The Panthers’ perseverance and determination helped push them past the Bearcats.
For FIT, three players totaled double figures in kills with Dick’s 13 leading the way. Alexis Mastela tossed up 53 assists and Lassman closed out the match with a game-high 39 digs.
“I like our team chemistry right now,” O’Brien said. “They’re playing as a team with enthusiasm and excitement. They have a new attitude with it being a new season. We still need to work on several areas of our game. We need to work on our serving, putting the ball down, covering tips and blocking. Overall, the girls played really well. We only lost one match and in that one match, the girls played really well.”
The Panthers will now prepare for the Country Inn and Suites Volleyball Tournament, hosted by the University of Alabama Huntsville this upcoming Friday and Saturday. On day one, they will play West Alabama and Alabama Huntsville at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. EDT, respectively. They will conclude the tournament with West Georgia at 11 a.m. EDT and Union at 1 p.m. EDT on Saturday.