Volleyball fights until season's end, narrowly misses A-Sun tournament

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It was a tough draw at the end of the season, but the Mercer Bears were unable to overcome.  Dropping two of their final three conference matches, Mercer women’s volleyball will not play in the postseason this year.  Despite knowing that if they won out, they were in, the Bears could not beat the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles and the Kennesaw State Owls.  Their season ends with a final record of 12-19 overall and 4-9 in the Atlantic Sun.

FGCU 3, Mercer 1
In the first game of their Atlantic Sun road trip to end the season, the Mercer Bears were unable to cement a postseason spot against the high-flying Eagles.  The Eagles comprehensively won by a score of 25-20, 25-21, 24-26, 25-18.  This one is the second time the Bears have lost this season to FGCU. However, this loss was not nearly as close or combative as the five sets thriller earlier this season.  Coach Noelle Rooke lamented the injury crisis when speaking to MercerBears.com: “Injuries have plagued us and we don’t have the depth we need right now.  This entire year we have dealt with adversity posed by injuries,” said coach Rooke.  Madeline Dolny was unfortunately unavailable for this conference clash.  Monica Sanchez was the only available setter, and Coach Rooke normally uses two.  Charlotte Harris added 21 digs, taking her over 400 this season and 1300 for her career.  Fellow senior Anna Coursey had 10 kills, but Charlayna Braxton’s back-to-back kills in the third set forced the fourth set.

Mercer 3, Stetson 1
Mercer mathematically eliminated archrival and conference foe Stetson from postseason contention with the three sets to one win.  Mercer stayed alive and knew they would need help to make the postseason.  Mercer won by a score of 23-25, 25-13, 25-19, 25-23.  Charlotte Harris added a match high 22 digs.  For the first time since early September, Mercer had four different players get to double digits in kills: Amiee Frutchey at 16, Charlayna Braxton at 12, Anna Coursey at 10, and Jennifer Katona at 10.  Mercer did better in several statistical categories than Stetson, such as hitting percentage, assists, digs, and blocks.

Mercer 3, Savannah State 0
Savannah State remained without a win on the year as the Bears won their final home match of the season by a shutout victory.  Mercer volleyball was able to tune up for a potential postseason run with the dominating 25-6, 25-12, 25-19 win.  Zoe Becton had a match-high seven kills, and the Bears rolled.  Charlotte Harris had 21 digs, and Monica Sanchez had 25 assists.  Becton also had three blocks.

Kennesaw St. 3, Mercer 1
The Owls locked up the fourth seed in the Atlantic Sun postseason tournament with a clutch victory over the Mercer Bears.  Due to other results going against them (namely Jacksonville beating Stetson), Mercer was unable to make the playoffs.  The three seniors performed well in their loss, but it is little consolation for missing the postseason.  Coach Rooke was quite excited at the three to go out with strong performances.  Mercer lost 25-15, 20-25, 25-23, 25-22.  Amiee Frutchey’s farewell double-double was one of the few high notes of the day.  She had 13 kills and 22 digs.  Anna Coursey had six blocks to lead all players.  Charlotte Harris, the final member of the senior trio, had 17 digs to cap off her remarkable career at Mercer. The three graduating superstars will definitely be missed.