Tomic Picks Up 100th Win As Panthers Defeat Middle Tennessee, 3-1
MIAMI - The FIU volleyball team defeated conference rival Middle Tennessee, 3-1 (25-20, 27-29, 25-20, 26-24), on Sunday afternoon the U.S. Century Bank Arena, as the Panthers improved to 14-2 (4-0) on the season.
FIU opened the match with a kill from senior Yarimar Rosa as the Panthers jumped out to a lead and never looked back, taking control of the set. Middle Tennessee was able to tie the score on two occasions but Rosa's four kills led the FIU offense and the Panthers came away with a 25-20 win.
The second set saw both squads come out on fire as the stanza saw 23 tie scores and 11 lead changes. MTSU held a one-point advantage at 25-24 but, following an FIU timeout, junior Natalia Valentin found Rosa for a kill to knot the score at 25-25. The teams battled back and forth before the Blue Raiders took the set, 29-27, to tie the match at 1-1.
The Panthers jumped out to an 11-7 lead in the third set and MTSU put up a fight but would get no closer than three at 17-14. Senior Olga Vergun led the FIU offense with seven kills for the set as the Panthers put the score at 2-1 with a 25-20 set victory.
The third set saw Rosa heat up as she tallied six kills, including the final two of the set, to lead the Panthers to a 26-24 set win and a 3-1 match victory. The stanza saw six ties and three lead changes as the Blue Raiders held a lead at 24-23 before senior Isadora Rangel and Rosa notched three consecutive kills to close out the match.
"It's a great win for us," said head coach Danijela Tomic who picked up her 100th coaching victory at FIU versus the Blue Raiders. "Middle Tennessee is always a tough team to play. We expected a match like this; a real fight, point for point. Opponents like Middle Tennessee make you better and I'm glad that we were tested and we passed the test.
I think we had a great serve and serve receive game. Yarimar [Rosa] always delivers when we need her, Olga [Vergun] played well and I thought Isadora [Rangel] was a difference-maker when we put her in the third set. Overall it was a great team effort and I was very proud of the poise and maturity the girls showed, no matter what the score was. I'm very happy with this win."
Rosa and Vergun led all scorers with 19 and 15 kills, respectively, while Valentin secured 44 assists. Rangel and Vergun each had two service aces on the day and freshman Chanel Araujo led the squad in digs with 15. Valentin also led the Panthers in blocks with three block assists.
FIU returns to action on Tuesday night when the Panthers host Florida Atlantic at the U.S. Century Bank Arena. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m
Article courtesy of Florida International Athletics.