UWF volleyball bandwagon rolling on, getting crowded

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Autumn Duyn records one of her 13 kills against Valdosta State University.
Photo by follow link Jason Dustin.

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best price for propecia online The University of West Florida volleyball team won its 11th consecutive game on Tuesday, when it toppled undefeated Gulf South Conference rival Valdosta State University 3-1 (20-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-21).

An expectant UWF Field House crowd watched the Argonauts overcome some first-set nerves to validate their ascension to 19th in the national rankings, which had been announced the day before.

Tied 12-12 in the first set, VSU went on a 12-3 run, following what was the Argos’ sole timeout of the night.

The second set was back and forth until UWF claimed the first momentum of the match, when they broke a 9-9 tie and built a four-point lead, 13-9. VSU called a timeout, responded, and eventually took the lead 20-19.

“In the second game when we were talking, we said, ‘Listen, guys, we can do this. We’re fine, we just have to go in there and play our game,’ and that’s what we did,” said senior Autumn Duyn, who had 13 kills on the night.

UWF closed the second set with six straight points and won 25-20. At the time, it was clear that the match-tying sequence was significant, and in hindsight, it proved pivotal.

“We came in to the middle of the court and we were all like, ‘We’re winning this set,’” said junior Corisha Smith, who led the team with 18 kills. “’We’re taking the momentum, and we’re going to run with it.’”

In the third set, UWF’s largest leads came at 22-16. VSU fought back to 22-19, when Argos’ head coach Melissa Wolter called timeout and waved her team to the sideline with a commanding, “Let’s go!”

UWF ran off the final three points and took a 2-sets-to-1 lead.

VSU features four international players.  The Argos’ preseason trip overseas factored into Tuesday night’s victory.

“They were making plays that the Europeans made that we played against this summer,” coach Wolter said. “So once we made some defensive adjustments and kind of got our kids to remember, ‘Hey, we’ve already been down this road.’ We played five international teams this summer. I think that allowed them to relax a little.”

VSU jumped out to an 8-4, fourth-set lead before UWF countered, tied the score 9-9 and regained momentum.  The Argos then took the lead and never trailed again.

The crowd was an additional, and welcomed, dimension of what may prove to be a significant checkpoint for a young team that is showing promise and producing results.

“This crowd was just absolutely huge, and they were really in to the game,” Duyn said. “It was just a really fun environment.”

Attendance was reported to be 835 people, according to the UWF Volleyball’s Facebook page.

“I sat back and just thought, ‘This is one of the coolest things,’” Wolter said. “Every player should have an opportunity to play in front of that kind of crowd. It was fun to see and hear.”