@FGCU_VB Set to Continue Conference Action with Kennesaw State and Mercer This Weekend
Thursday, September 26, 2013 | by Jamie Church (@jlchurch)
The FGCU women's volleyball team will continue A-Sun action this weekend
The FGCU women's volleyball team will continue A-Sun action this weekend
KSU (6-7; 1-2 ASun)
Florida Gulf Coast (3-10; 2-1 ASun)
9/27/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 461
KSU17252126 --
Florida Gulf Coast25232528 --
Stats at a GlanceKSUFGCU
Hitting Pct..119.194
Total Attacks151155
Statistical LeadersKSUFGCU
KillsMARCINEK - 17
AssistsMETROKA - 39
MEYER - 42
BEAN - 1
WILT - 1
DigsPEDRAZA - 20
HOLM - 9

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University women’s volleyball team will look to improve to a winning record in Atlantic Sun play this weekend when they host Kennesaw State and Mercer at Alico Arena.  Friday’s bout with KSU is slated for 6 p.m., while Saturday’s game against Mercer will begin at 7 p.m.  Saturday’s matchup will be streamed live on AtlanticSun.TV. 

The Eagles enter the weekend with a record of 2-10 on the season and a mark of 1-1 in A-Sun action.  FGCU fell to Jacksonville, 3-0, in the conference opener before defeating UNF, 3-0, last Saturday to begin the conference season with an even mark.

Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City High School) leads the Eagles offensively with 3.24 kills per set this season, while Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers High School) has added 2.97 kills per set in 12 matches so far.  Gigi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz High School) has aided the offensive effort with a total of 388 assists on the year for just under 10 assists per set.  Defensively, Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown High School) leads the squad with 3.74 digs per set, while Christine Pinder (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz High School) has added 2.97 digs per stanza.  Pinder leads the Green and Blue in all-around play with three double-doubles this season.  Karina Mambuca (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast High School) also adds fire to the defense with 24 blocks so far this season.

The team earned its first Atlantic Sun victory with a 3-0 win over the University of North Florida it its last contest.  The Eagles took control of set one early on and maintained the advantage through the match.  Barnes led the Green and Blue to victory with 12 kills and 10 digs on the night for her second double-double of the season.  Holm added 10 kills to the FGCU offensive surge, while Meyer facilitated the offense with 36 assists on the night.

Defensively, the Eagles saw four players with double-digit digs.  Pinder amassed a season-high 18 through three sets to lead the Eagles, while Meyer, Masters and Barnes added 13, 11 and 10, respectively for the all-around effort.

The Owls of Kennesaw State enter the weekend with an even record of 6-6.  They are 1-1 in conference play after defeated USC Upstate and falling to East Tennessee State last weekend.  The team has won five of its last six games after starting the season with a record of 1-5.

As a unit, KSU maintains a .162 attack percentage, while allowing opponents to hit .201.  Individually, Keyaira Stevenson and Kelly Marcinek lead the Owls with 2.93 kills per set each, while senior Sara Metroka has set up the duo with 9.49 assists per set this season.  Defensively, the Owls are led by 4.13 digs per set from libero Camille Pedraza.  Sophomores Cierra Royster and Megan McGuinness have paced the team in blocks with 28 and 27, respectively.

The Eagles and Owls have met on nine occasions since the Eagles converted to Division I.  The Eagles began the series with a five-game win streak before losing single contests in 2010 and 2011.  FGCU defeated KSU twice in 2013 to move to 7-2 in the all-time series.  Last year’s wins included a 3-0 victory in Kennesaw, Ga. and a 3-1 win in front of the home crowd at Alico Arena.

Mercer travels to Florida with a record of 1-11 this season.  The Bears earned a win over Jacksonville State on August 30 and have since lost 10-straight contests.  Mercer dropped to 0-2 in A-Sun play with losses to ETSU and USC Upstate last weekend and will face Stetson on Friday evening before making its way to Fort Myers. 

The Bears are led by sophomore Molly Locke who leads the team with 3.07 kills per set and adds 3.53 digs per set.  Senior libero Emily Rochefort helps the team with 4.84 digs per set, while classmate Carly Iannarino sets up the team with 9.13 assists per set.

The Eagles and Bears have met on 10 occasions since 2007 with FGCU holding the advantage with eight wins and just two losses.  The Green and Blue have won four-straight contests including two 3-2 wins last season.

2013-14 volleyball 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.