Volleyball Heads to Georgia for Bulldog Invitational
Thursday, September 09, 2010

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast volleyball team will participate in the Bulldog Invitational hosted by the University of Georgia this weekend at the Ramsey Student Center.

The Bulldog Invitational will feature four teams playing a total of six matches between Friday and Saturday.

On Friday, the Eagles (2-6 overall) open the tournament against Georgia Tech (3-3 overall) at 4:30 p.m. Georgia (6-1 overall) then hosts No. 9 Washington (5-0 overall) at 7 p.m. When FGCU plays in the Bulldog Invitational, it will mark the first time in program history that the Eagles will play against their three opponents.

On Saturday, competition begins with the Huskies and Yellow Jackets at 10 a.m. followed by the Bulldogs and FGCU at Noon. The Blue and Green then returns to the court against Washington at 4:30 p.m. before Georgia meets in-state rival Georgia Tech in the tournament's final match at 7 p.m.

FGCU has six players with between 38 and 50 kills so far this season, led by seniors Jacqueline Cowden (Danville, Calif./Temple/Monte Vista HS), Caitlin Shawver (Lauderdale by the Sea, Fla./Barry/Northeast HS) and Chelsea Lyles (Colorado Springs, Col./Western Nebraska CC/Harrison HS). Junior Holly Youngquist (Estero, Fla./Evangelical Christian) leads the team with an impressive 4.25 digs per set. Freshman Camil Dominguez (Santo Domingo, D.R./Santa Teresita), who has been named to a pair of All-Tournament teams this season, runs the FGCU offense, averaging 9.32 assists per set.

Live stats will be available for all matches on GeorgiaDogs.com.

Friday, September 10
FGCU vs. Georgia Tech, 4:30 p.m.
#9 Washington at Georgia, 7 p.m.

Saturday, September 11
#9 Washington vs. Georgia Tech, 10 a.m.
FGCU at Georgia, 12 a.m.
#9 Washington vs. FGCU, 4:30 p.m.
Georgia Tech at Georgia, 7 p.m.

Georgia Tech will make the trip to Athens, Ga. from Atlanta Ga., bringing a 3-3 mark into the weekend. Last season the Jackets made their first NCAA Tournament since 2004, going 21-10 and 15-5 in the ACC under first-year coach Tonya Johnson. Georgia Tech suffered a pair of tough 3-2 losses to Indiana and Loyola Marymount, and were swept by Kansas State in their last match at KSU's tournament last weekend. Monique Mead leads the squad with 4.18 kills per set, hitting .261. Mead had a career-high 23 kills vs. LMU. Asia Stawicka has also been efficient, finishing at a .347 clip with more than two kills a set. Setter Mary Ashley Tippins runs the offense, averaging 9.41 assists per set and is a Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Candidate.

Georgia got off to a 6-0 start before dropping a tough five-setter at North Colorado. The Bulldogs return six starters from a squad that went 17-14 last season and finished tied for fifth in the Southeast Conference (SEC). Georgia began the year with a win at the Deacon Invitational, defeating host Wake Forest on the final day. On the year, Georgia is outhitting its opponents .285-.137, led by Valentina Gonzalez who was an All-SEC second team pick last year and is hitting .433. Tied with Gonzalez at .433 is Ann Dylla, who averages 3.28 kills per set. Dylla is also averaging 1.48 blocks per set. Brittany Northcutt has made a big impression, racking up 18 aces already and 3.32 kills per set.

The Huskies heads into the four-team tourney with a 5-0 record through the first two weeks of the season. Washington, ranked ninth this week in both polls, claimed its third-straight Northwest Challenge title last weekend in Boise. UW will be the third ranked opponent the Eagles have faced this season (No. 18 Oregon and No. 19 Michigan). The Huskies opened the season ranked in the Top-10 in both preseason polls. The AVCA coaches poll ranked UW eighth, the second-highest Pac-10 team behind No. 4 Stanford. Volleyball Magazine started the Huskies 10th.