@FGCU_VB Set to Host Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites Airport Volleyball Classic
Thursday, September 12, 2013 | by Jamie Church (@jlchurch)
Whitney Masters and the Eagles will host the Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites Airport Volleyball Classic
Whitney Masters and the Eagles will host the Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites Airport Volleyball Classic
Central Arkansas (7-1)
Florida Gulf Coast (1-7)
9/13/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 148
Central Arkansas17272726 --
Florida Gulf Coast25252524 --
Stats at a GlanceUCAFGCU
Hitting Pct..165.237
Total Attacks188173
Statistical LeadersUCAFGCU
KillsSchnars - 12
AssistsCollins - 48
MEYER - 57
AcesSchnars - 2
Hunt - 2
DigsBerringer - 24
BlocksSchnars - 4

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University women’s volleyball will host the 2013 Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites Airport Volleyball Classic Friday, Sept. 13 and Saturday, Sept. 14.  The Eagles will welcome Central Arkansas, Marquette and No. 3 Penn State to Alico Arena for the highly competitive two-day event.

FGCU will open the tournament with a 10 a.m. match against Central Arkansas.  Play will continue on Friday evening with a 7 p.m. bout with Marquette.  The Eagles will round out tournament play by taking on No. 3 Penn State in the tournament finale.  The match with the Nittany Lions is slated for 7 p.m. on Saturday.

The Green and Blue enter the weekend with a record of 1-6 after falling to the University of South Florida, 3-1, on Tuesday, Sept. 10.  The team will be looking for its first win at Alico Arena. 

This season, senior Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers High School) leads the team offensively, averaging 3.22 kills per set to rank among the top-10 in the Atlantic Sun.  Junior Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City High School) has added 3.06 kills per set and also ranks among the league’s best.  Junior Gigi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS) has aided the offense with 9.74 assists per set through seven games this year, while Atlantic  Sun Preseason Libero of the Year Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind./Wapahani High School) leads the team with 3.09 digs per set.

FGCU fell in a four-set match to the University of South Florida, 3-1, on Tuesday, Sept. 10 at Alico Arena.  With the loss, the Eagles fell to 1-6 on the season and 0-1 at home.  Backed by six kills from senior Christine Pinder (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz High School), the Eagles defeated USF, 25-19, in set one before falling to USF in three-consecutive sets.

Central Arkansas enters this weekend’s tournament with a record of 6-1 on the year, including a win over No. 20 Kansas.  The Sugar Bears’ lone loss of the 2013 campaign is to Arizona and the team is currently riding a five-game winning streak.  Sophomore This week’s Southland Player of the Week, Heather Schnars, leads the UCA offense with 3.33 kills per set this season, while senior Marissa Collins has set up the attack with an average of 12.05 assists per set.  Junior Shelbee Berringer paces the defense with 4.46 digs per set.  The Sugar Bears will open tournament action against the Eagles before taking on the Nittany Lions in the morning game on Saturday and facing Marquette on Saturday Afternoon.

The Golden Eagles arrive in Fort Myers with a record of 2-2.  Marquette earned wins over Bowling Green and TCU and dropped losses to then-No. 13 BYU and then-No. 3 USC to begin the season.  Outside hitter and recent BIG EAST Freshman of the Week Autumn Bailey leads Marquette with 4.56 kills per set, while BIG EAST honor roll nominee Elizabeth Koberstein has facilitated the offense with 11.81 assists per set.  Julie Jeziorowski backs the Golden Eagles with 4.12 digs per set.  Marquette will face Penn State at 2 p.m. on Friday to open the tournament before taking on FGCU in the Friday evening slot and concluding the tournament with Central Arkansas at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

The Nittany Lions enter this weekend with a record of 3-1 after producing a 1-1 record at the Nike Volleyball Big Four Classic in Austin, Texas last weekend.  Penn State fell to No. 6 Texas in five sets before defeating No. 9 Florida, 3-0. Freshman Paulina Prieto Cerame leads Penn State with 3.29 kills per set, while setter Micha Hancock leads the Penn State offense with 9.86 assists per set and tops the nation with 1.14 service aces per set.  The five-time National Champion Nittany Lions previously held the No. 1 ranking this season.

Following the Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites Airport Volleyball Classic the Eagles will have six days before beginning Atlantic Sun competition.  The defending regular season champions will host Jacksonville on Friday, Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. before welcoming the University of North Florida, Kennesaw State and Mercer in a four-game home stand.

2013-14 volleyball season tickets are now available by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets. Season tickets are $35 for adults and $17 for youth (ages 3-12). Single-game tickets can also be purchased for $6 per adult and $3 for youth. Groups of 10+ can receive a discounted rate of $3 per person. FGCU students and faculty/staff are admitted for free with a valid University ID.