FORT MYERS, Fla.- With five years of Florida SouthWestern State Athletics in the books and without any Buccaneer teams playing to cheer for this Fall, we will take a look back at special moments throughout the past five years in our 'On This Date in History' series. We begin the series today with a first, as we turn the calendar back one year to the first FSW Volleyball home matches in program history as the Bucs took on undefeated Broward and 15th ranked Central Florida at Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers.
In their first match of the day, the Bucs came out spirited as expected against the undefeated Seahawks. The teams went back and forth to the tune of 13 first set ties before FSW eventually pulled through late with a 25-23 win to go ahead 1-0. The Bucs got off to a good start in the second, taking a 10-6 lead, but hit a rut that they couldn't get out of and Broward took advantage, taking the set 25-20 to even the match at 1-1. The third was another nip and tuck affair and was tied late at 23 before a big solo block by Julia de Sa clinched the set at 25-23 and gave the Bucs a 2-1 lead in the match. The match looked destined for a fifth set as Broward found themselves up 23-20 late in the fourth, but the Bucs roared back, evening the score at 24 before the teams went blow for blow to 28-28. The Bucs made one last push, securing the final two points of the set and ultimately the match to the set 30-28 and the match 3-1, handing the Seahawks their first loss of the season. De Sa had a monster match, going for 15 kills, 12 digs, and 7 blocks for the Bucs while Lexi Hurtado came off the bench for 11 kills on 16 swings to hit .688 to pace the offense. Viktoriya Ivanova had 19 digs in the win for the Bucs and Marina Alonso dished out a team high 31 assists for the Purple and Aqua.
Things didn't get any easier for the Bucs in the nightcap of their split doubleheader as they took on 15th ranked and 8-1 Central Florida, a team that had beaten them 3-0 on opening weekend of their inaugural season. As was the case in their first match, early on, there was again very little separation between the Bucs and the Patriots as the two found themselves tied at 18 late in the first. The Bucs scored three straight to jump in front and didn't look back, eventually closing out the set with a 25-22 win to go up 1-0 in the match. Central answered with a big second, controlling the pace throughout for a 25-18 win to even the match at 1. A big FSW block at the net was the key in the all-important third as the Bucs shut down the Patriot attack to come away with a 25-21 victory to take a 2-1 advantage in the match. It was 17-17 late in the fourth before the Bucs regained momentum, sprinting to the finish line to take the set 25-20 and clinch the match 3-1. De Sa and Ivanova again led the Bucs to the win, de Sa with a team high 12 kills and Ivanova with a team best 16 digs in the match.
Stay tuned next week to FSWBucs.com and @FSWBucs on social media as the 2019 FSW Volleyball team provides us with another look back as they extend their winning streak to the longest of the year.