@FGCU_VB Returns to Alico to Face ETSU and USC Upstate This Weekend
Thursday, October 31, 2013 | by Jamie Church (@jlchurch)
Jessica Barnes has led the Eagle offense with 3.19 kills per set
Jessica Barnes has led the Eagle offense with 3.19 kills per set
ETSU (18-7 (12-1 A-Sun))
Florida Gulf Coast (11-15 (7-6 A-Sun))
11/1/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 356
Florida Gulf Coast191725254
Stats at a GlanceETSUFGCU
Hitting Pct..187.128
Total Attacks171156
Statistical LeadersETSUFGCU
KillsDEVINE - 19
HOLM - 16
AssistsRUTLEDGE - 39
MEYER - 43
AcesGESELL - 4
DigsDEVINE - 17
BlocksWILEY - 7

FORT MYERS, Fla. – After three games on the road, the FGCU women’s volleyball team will return to Alico Arena to host ETSU and USC Upstate this weekend.  The Eagles will take on ETSU on Friday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. and will face USC Upstate on Saturday, Nov. 2 with a 7 p.m. start time. 

The Green and Blue enter the weekend with a record of 11-14 and an Atlantic Sun mark of 7-5 after defeating Mercer but falling to Kennesaw State and North Florida last weekend.  The team will be looking to improve in the A-Sun standings as the season enters its final weeks.

Individually, the Eagles’ offensive attack has been led by 3.19 kills per set from junior Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City High School), while Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers High School) and Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River High School) have added 3.02 and 2.79 per set, respectively.

Mesner currently ranks fourth in the A-Sun with a team-leading hitting percentage of .340.

Setter Gigi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS) has helped the Eagle offense this season with 10.54 assists per set to rank third among Atlantic Sun players.

Defensively, Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind./Wapahani High School) ranks sixth in the A-Sun with 3.88 digs per set, while Karina Mambuca (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast High School) leads all players with 76 blocks through 25 matches.

Collectively, the Eagles have held a hitting percentage of .211, while allowing opponents to hit .233.  The attack rate ranks among the top half of the conference, but the Eagles’ opponent attack percentage sits at seventh. 

The Eagles completed a three-game road trip last weekend with bouts against Mercer, Kennesaw State and the University of North Florida.  FGCU earned a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Mercer on Friday night before falling 3-0 at Kennesaw State and 3-2 at UNF.  Holm led the Eagles with 3.77 kills per set on the weekend, while Mambuca paced the FGCU defense with 3.54 digs per set and eight blocks in three matches.  Mesner added to the team’s effort with 3.69 kills per stanza and a team-leading 15 blocks through 13 sets.

The Bucs of ETSU will travel south to Fort Myers with a record of 17-7 on the season and a near-perfect 11-1 record in Atlantic Sun action.  ETSU has secured an appearance in the 2013 A-Sun Conference Tournament and currently sits in first place in the league standings.

As a team, ETSU leads the A-Sun in several statistical categories.  The team ranks first with 2.8 blocks per set and second with 13.7 kills per set.  The Bucs maintain an attack percentage of .254 and have held foes to a percentage of .182 in 24 contests this year.  They will enter Alico Arena on a four-game win streak and with 13 wins in their last 14 matches.

Individually, Meredith Hardy leads the conference with 1.53 blocks per set and ranks third with an attack percentage of .343.  Hardy became the A-Sun all-time leader in blocks last week.  Megan Devine sits second on the A-Sun leaderboard with 4.51 kills per set and recently became the conference’s all-time kills leader.

The Eagles and Bucs have faced off 10 times since 2007, with the Green and Blue holding a 7-2 advantage in the win-loss record before the 2013 season.  Last season, the Eagles earned a 3-0 victory at Alico Arena but fell, 3-2, in Johnson City in November.  The Eagles fell to ETSU, 3-0, in Johnson City earlier this season to drop to 7-3 in the all-time series. 

The Spartans enter this weekend’s matchup with a record of 4-18, including a 3-0 Atlantic Sun record.  The team began the season with just one win in its first 16 matches but has since won three of its last six contests. 

USC Upstate is led by sophomore Kayla Eversgerd, who averages 3.45 kills and 3.24 digs per set.  Eversgerd gets help from 2.46 kills per set by Emily Koelling and Lexi Gober’s 8.88 assists per set.

Defensively, Morgan Page leads the team with 4.05 digs per stanza, while Koelling has added 40 blocks through 22 matches.

As a unit the Spartans are hitting just .141 on the year, while allowing opponents to record an attack percentage of .227.  The Spartans will face Stetson on Friday evening before traveling to Fort Myers.

FGCU is a perfect 10-0 against USC Upstate dating back to the 2007 season.  The Eagles have taken 30 sets from the Spartans and have dropped just four sets in the six-year history.  Last season, Holm and Mesner combined for 42 kills to help the Eagles earn two 3-0 wins over USC Upstate, while earlier this season the Eagles took a 3-2 win in Spartansburg, S.C.

Following the weekend series, the Eagles travel to Jacksonville on Tuesday, Nov. 5 for a 7 p.m. match against the Dolphins. 

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.