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@FGCU_VB Travels to Mercer, KSU and UNF This Weekend
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MACON, Ga. – With half of the Atlantic Sun slate behind them, the FGCU women’s volleyball team will continue conference action with three road games this weekend. The Eagles will face Mercer on Friday night before taking on Kennesaw State Saturday afternoon. The Green and Blue will round out the road trip with a contest at North Florida on Monday night.
The Eagles enter the weekend swing with a record of 10-12 on the year and a 6-3 mark in A-Sun play. The team most recently fell to Lipscomb before bouncing back with a 3-1 victory over Northern Kentucky. FGCU has not played since last weekend and will be looking to begin a new win streak.
As a unit, the Eagles have maintained a .204 attack percentage to rank among the top half of A-Sun teams, but have allowed opponents to hit .228 through 22 games.
Individually, Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City High School) has led the team with 3.22 kills per set, while Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers High School) has recorded a team-high 226 kills through 78 sets played. Holm has also added 53 blocks on the year to aid the Eagle defense.
Setter Gigi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS) has helped sustain the Eagles’ attack this year with 10.45 assists per set and ranks third in the A-Sun in that category.
Defensively, Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind./Wapahani High School) ranks fifth among A-Sun competitors with 4.03 digs per set and has been a crucial member of the team recently, while Karina Mambuca (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast High School) leads all players with 68 blocks through 22 games.
LAST TIME OUT
After falling to Lipscomb at home in front of a record crowd on Friday evening, the team responded with a 3-1 triumph over Northern Kentucky last Saturday. The Eagles earned close wins in set one and two (27-25, 25-23) before dropping set three (25-17). The Green and Blue mounted a 25-16 win in set four to seal the victory and improve to 10-12 on the year with a 6-3 conference mark.
Offensively, Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River High School) and Holm led the Eagle attack with double-digit kills. Mesner had a team-high 14 attacks, while Holm added 13 to the team’s total of 56.
The Bears of Mercer enter this weekend with a dismal record of 1-20 and an imperfect mark of 0-11 in Atlantic Sun play. The team is in the midst of a 19-game losing streak, which includes a 3-0 loss at Alico Arena in September.
Mercer holds an attack percentage of .129 on the season to rank the lowest among A-Sun competitors and has allowed opponents to hit .255 on the year.
Emily Rochefort guides the team with a league-leading 4.52 digs per set, while Molly Locke leads the offense with 2.73 kills per stanza. Carly Iannarino adds 8.54 assists per set for the Bears, who total 10.75 kills per set on average.
The bout with the Bears is set for Friday, Oct. 25 at Hawkins Arena in The University Center. The first set is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Eagles and Bears have met on 11 occasions since 2007, including the matchup in September. After a 3-0 win at Alico Arena, FGCU holds the advantage with nine wins and just two losses. The Green and Blue have won five-straight contests including two 3-2 wins last season.
SCOUTING KENNESAW STATE
Kennesaw State University will host the Eagles on Saturday, Oct. 26 in a 3 p.m. game at the KSU Convocation Center. The Owls will take on Stetson on Friday night but enter the weekend with a record of 8-12 and a 3-7 A-Sun mark.
As a unit, KSU maintains a .164 attack percentage, while allowing opponents to hit .214. Individually, Kelly Marcinek leads the team with 3.23 kills per set, while senior Sara Metroka has set up the attack with 9.58 assists per set this season. Defensively, the Owls are led by 4.17 digs per set from libero Camille Pedraza. Sophomores Cierra Royster has paced the team in blocks with 54 in 20 games.
The Eagles and Owls have met on 10 occasions since the Eagles converted to Division I athletics. The Green and Blue produced a five-game win streak to being the all-time series before losing single games in 2010 and 2011. FGCU defeated KSU twice last season and moved to 8-2 all-time with a 3-1 win at Alico Arena earlier this season.
SCOUTING NORTH FLORIDA
The Eagles will round out the weekend trip at the University of North Florida on Monday, Oct. 28. After the Ospreys travel to Lipscomb and NKU this weekend, FGCU and UNF will face off at 7 p.m. at UNF Arena.
The Ospreys enter the weekend with a mark of 7-14 with a 3-6 A-Sun record. They are currently riding a two-game win streak and hold an attack percentage of .183 with 12.4 kills per set.
Individually, the Ospreys have a handful of players ranked among the league’s top players. Cameron McGuire ranks third in the conference with 71 blocks on the year, while Cari Whitmore has maintained a dig average of 4.25 per set for third in the A-Sun. Offensively, Anna Budinska ranks fourth in conference with 3.71 kills per set, with Abby Fesl ranking eighth with 9.11 assists per stanza.
The Eagles have held the advantage over UNF since transitioning to Division I in 2007. FGCU has maintained an undefeated record of 13-0 during regular-season competition in that time and has fallen to UNF just three times in program history.
In last year’s regular-season matchups the Eagles defeated UNF 3-1 on the road and took a 3-0 win at Alico Arena. The win on the road served as FGCU’s 13th-consecutive win and clinched a position in the A-Sun tournament with a 12-0 conference mark.
This season, the Eagles defeated UNF, 3-0, at Alico Arena for their first A-Sun win of the season.
ON THE HORIZON
Following the weekend trip, the Eagles will host ETSU and USC Upstate on Friday, Nov. 1 and Saturday, Nov. 2. Both sets are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at Alico Arena.
2013-14 volleyball season tickets are still available by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets. 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.