FORT MYERS, Fla. – The No. 4 seeded FGCU sand volleyball team is set to participate in the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship beginning Saturday on the campus of Jacksonville University at the Dolphin Beach Volleyball Complex. The No. 4 seeded Eagles will matchup with No. 5 Mercer in the opening match of the event at 9 a.m.
FGCU (4-8, 3-5 A-Sun) and the Bears (0-15, 0-8 A-Sun) will meet for the third time this season, after the Green and Blue picked up a pair of 3-2 decisions over the Bears at the Mercer Sand Volleyball Complex on April 29 and 30.
Seniors Brooke Kohler (Jupiter, Fla./Jupiter HS/Clemson) and Brittany Muse (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto County HS) will play as FGCU’s No. 1, while sophomore junior Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS/Marshall) and sophomore Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind./Wapahani HS) will play at the No. 2 spot. Senior Lindsey Childs (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./South Plantation HS) and sophomore Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River HS) enter the contest as the Green and Blue’s No. 3 pairing. Rounding out FGCU’s team for the A-Sun Championship will be sophomore Liga Strautniece (Riga, Latvia/Rigas Anglu Gimmazija) and junior Christine Pinder (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS/Houston/Central Florida CC) at No. 4 and sophomores Jill Hopper (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown HS) and Gigi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS) in the No. 5 spot.
Saturday marks the second straight year the Bears meet the Eagles in the opening round of Atlantic Sun Tournament play. Last season, FGCU defeated MU 4-1.
The winner of Saturday morning's first match will go on to play No. 1 North Florida at 1 p.m., while the loser will challenge the loser of No. 3 Jacksonville and No. 2 Stetson's match at 3 p.m. The winner of the double-elimination tournament, excluding the championship match, will earn the first automatic qualifying bid to the AVCA National Sand Championships on May 3-5 in Gulf Shores, Ala.
Fans can follow the championship action from court No. 1 both days, April 20-21, at no charge on ASun.TV, as well as all of the championship coverage provided by the A-Sun on Twitter (#ASunSVB), Facebook (Atlantic Sun Conference) and the Sand Volleyball Championship page at www.atlanticsun.org.