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Eastern Florida Volleyball Drops Conference Opener

Sept. 12, 2013 - Eastern Florida State College's volleyball team dropped its Florida College System Activities Association Southern Conference opener on Thursday, falling in straight sets to Indian River State College in the Melbourne Campus gym.

The 23-25, 17-25, 21-25 loss, the fourth this season in straight sets and the third at home, dropped Eastern Florida to 4-6. The Titans are still seeking their first victory at home after four matches and their first conference victory after going 0-8 in 2012.

Indian River improved to 7-4 overall and 2-0 in conference with its second sweep.

Eastern Florida started strong, rushing to a 9-1 lead in the first set. But Indian River fought back and a run of four straight service aces – which brought the Pioneers back from being down 11-6 – swung the momentum.

Eastern Florida maintained leads of no more than two points until Indian River broke a 15-15 tie. The Pioneers never trailed for the remainder of the set.

Eastern Florida never led in the second set but led twice in the third set and managed six ties before Indian River pulled away from a 16-16 deadlock for the victory.

Despite the defeat Eastern Florida head coach Herb Tokumoto emphasized the positive while acknowledging work needs to be done.

"They did some good things, the matter is how long can we keep the good things going?" Tokumoto said. "Obviously not long enough, that probably will be our focal point.

"That and just pure communication. That's what this game is all about is communicating and reacting real-time on the court. Reacting real-time on the court is what makes a true player. That's what we're struggling with. We'll work at it. We've got to work at it. It will get better."

Statistically for Eastern Florida sophomore Ashley Dills had 15 kills and freshman Michelle Rodriguez 11; freshman Arianna Bethel had four blocks; sophomore Taylor Gembecki had 28 assists and sophomore Alana Nielander had nine digs.

Eastern Florida resumes play on Friday traveling to New Port Richey for the Pasco-Hernando Community College Conquistador Invitational. Eastern Florida competes in pool play against Lake-Sumter State College at 3 p.m. and Florida College at 7 p.m. on Friday. On Saturday Eastern Florida concludes pool play against Pasco-Hernando at noon and then moves to bracket play.

The Titans next home match is 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24 against conference foe Broward College. Admission is free.