West Florida splits first day at Hemingway's Invitational
Argos defeat Lock Haven, fall to No. 5 Central Missouri
PENSACOLA, Fla. – The West Florida volleyball team opened the season Friday by splitting two matches against Lock Haven and No. 5 Central Missouri on the first day of hosting Hemingway’s Island Grill Invitational. The Argonauts started strong with a victory against the Lady Eagles before dropping the night cap to the Jennies.
After they dropped the first set, UWF charged back to win three-straight with a nail-biting battle in the finale. Haley Shackelford (Colorado Springs, Colo./Yavapai) led the charge by smashing her career kill record of 14 with 21 at a .341 clip. Autumn Duyn (Venice, Fla./Venice HS) collected 15 kills and 14 digs, and K.C. Dobbins (Winston-Salem, N.C./Arkansas) also reached a double-double in her debut as an Argonaut with 34 assists and 11 digs.
The Argonauts struggled with their offense early in the match and the slow start was one they couldn’t recover from to lose the first set 25-18. The second set was a much closer affair, and UWF rattled off three kills and forced an error to comeback from their only deficit of the match midway through. They only relinquished their advantage once more and kept hammering away at Lock Haven to take the set with a final 6-1 spree, 25-20. The third set was entirely in UWF’s control despite the Lady Eagles tying up the frame 21-21, a late surge which they handily shut down with three straight kills and an error to win 25-21.
Both teams were nearly identical statistically in the fourth and final set, but UWF edged Lock Haven in kills (21 to 19) and hitting percentage (.268 to .265) to pull out a 33-31 victory in thrilling fashion. No team gained more than a three point advantage until four straight kills put the Lady Eagles ahead 22-17, but the Argonauts chipped away and fought off three consecutive set points to stay alive. Six ties and five lead changes ensued until the 31-31 mark, when Shackelford put away two kills to cap her career match.
Shackelford spearheaded the Argonaut offense in the nightcap with 10 kills. Andraia Leja (Cary, Ill./Harper) collected 18 digs while Sierra Hansen (Layton, Utah/Southern Idaho) and Dobbins chipped in 10 assists apiece.
Six straight points by the Jennies late in the first set prevented the Argonauts from a chance to come back in a frame which the score was consistently within two points reach, falling 25-19. The final two sets were determined by an identical score, 25-23, as the second set was much like the first with a narrow margin throughout. Central Missouri jumped ahead by five points midway, and UWF clawed its way to one point back at set point before a final Jennies kill ended the match.
UWF wraps up Hemingway’s Island Grill Invitational Saturday with two more matches. The Argos face No. 10 Indianapolis at 2 p.m. followed by No. 2 Tampa at 7 p.m. For information on all UWF athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com.