LAKELAND, Fla.—Getting Tuesday night’s match to a fifth set was an accomplishment in and of itself, but for the third consecutive Sun Conference match, Southeastern lost by the score of 3-2.
Coastal Georgia used a strong start and was able to hold off a late charge from the Fire to hang on for the win.
The Fire started slow, dropping the first set 25-7 with the Mariners recording 11 kills on 25 attacks with no errors, and were able to sideout the Fire on seven of their eight serves.
Southeastern started to turn things around in the second, hitting over 300 points higher in the second set, and being more aggressive at the net to hold CCGA to a .195 attack percentage, but still came up short, 25-23.
CCGA was three points away from making it a quick night, leading 22-20, but the Fire rattled off five straight points, taking advantage of some miscues by the Mariners, and getting a kill from Emily Kalmink, who led the Fire with 12 on the night, and one from Emily Boehlein to take the set 25-22.
The fourth set saw 14 ties and nine lead changes and the Mariners have two match points at 24-22. SEU won the next four rallies, getting a block by Jordyn Stiger, who finished the night with three, and a kill from Jessica Hidden to force a fifth set.
Despite trailing the tiebreaker by five points, the Fire rallied again to make it 8-6, but couldn’t sustain the momentum as Coastal Georgia won five of the next six rallies to control the match.
Freshman Baylee Warneke was also in double figures with kills with 10 and added eight digs. Kalmink was in on five of SEU’s nine blocks on the night.
Sarah Castillo had a team-best 33 assists and had 14 digs, and Grace Ball was one of three players in double figures in digs with 18. Katie Chillura added 12 digs.
The Fire host Johnson & Wales on Saturday at 2 p.m.