NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The No. 16 Monroe College women’s volleyball team split its final two matches at the Florida State College at Jacksonville Tournament on Saturday, defeated Johnson County Community College in three sets before falling in a five-set thriller to No. 9 College of Central Florida. The Mustangs leave the tournament with a 9-4 overall record. They will now head down to Lake City, Fla. to take on Florida Gateway College at 7 p.m. to finish their weekend down south.
MATCH 1: #16 MONROE 3, JOHNSON COUNTY 0
The Mustangs took control early on in their first match, picking up the first set, 25-19. Johnson County made things tougher in the second frame, but Monroe managed to hold on for a 25-23 win to take a 2-0 lead in the match. The Mustangs played their best set of the match in the third stanza, claiming a 25-18 win for a three-set victory.
Keyshla Laureano Perez finished with a team-high nine kills in the win. Nerealice Quirindongo continued a strong weekend at the net with another five blocks. Karla Figueroa added six kills and four blocks of her own, as well as seven digs. Brianna Chin finished with 11 digs, while Nashally Eleutiza added 10. Daline Rios led the team with 25 assists.
MATCH 2: #9 CENTRAL FLORIDA 3, #16 MONROE 2
In another battle of nationally-ranked opponents, the Mustangs and Patriots played a nearly even match that needed five sets to determine a victor. In a tough first set that saw both teams hit well, the Mustangs pulled out a 25-23 win to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Central Florida then turned in a strong frame for a 25-13 win, knotting the match up at 1-1.
In another back-and-forth game, the Mustangs claimed a 2-1 lead on the afternoon with a 25-21 win. The Patriots once again got into a rhythm in the fourth set to take a 25-12 win and force the decisive fifth set. Another close game went the way of Central Florida, who came out victorious in the match with a 15-11 win in the final set.
Laureano Perez had her best match of the season, finishing with 19 kills, two blocks, four digs and a service ace. Figueroa added nine kills and seven digs. Eleutiza had a team-high 20 digs, while Daline Rios finished with 43 assists, three blocks and a couple aces.
The Mustangs will now travel over to Lake City, Fla. to take on Florida Gateway College at 7 p.m. to cap off the weekend before heading back home.