@FGCU_VB Set to Conclude Nonconference Action at FIU
Monday, October 14, 2013 | by Jamie Church (@jlchurch)
The Eagles will look to get back on track in a nonconference contest at FIU (Photo courtesy: Linwood Ferguson)
The Eagles will look to get back on track in a nonconference contest at FIU (Photo courtesy: Linwood Ferguson)
Florida Gulf Coast (9-11 (5-2 A-Sun))
FIU (8-11 (2-4 C-USA))
10/15/2013 | Miami, Fla. | Attendance: 172
Florida Gulf Coast1625252218
Stats at a GlanceFGCUFIU
Hitting Pct..163.177
Total Attacks203186
Statistical LeadersFGCUFIU
KillsMESNER - 18
AssistsMEYER - 58
EGAN - 53
AcesHOLM - 1
DigsMASTERS - 22
BlocksMAMBUCA - 7

MIAMI, Fla. – The FGCU women’s volleyball team will travel to Miami Tuesday night to take on FIU in its final nonconference contest of the 2013 campaign.  The match at U.S. Century Bank Arena is slated for 6 p.m.

The Green and Blue enter the midweek matchup with a record of 8-11 and an Atlantic Sun mark of 5-2.  The team’s seven-game win streak was broken up last weekend at ETSU.  Prior to the loss the team was unbeaten since Sept. 20.

Junior outside hitter Jessica Barnes (Winter Haven, Fla./Haines City High School) currently tops the Eagle offense with 3.38 kills per set, while Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers High School) adds 2.83 kills per set.  Holm has also added 44 blocks for FGCU and has been a contributing factor in the Eagles’ recent success.  Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River High School) led the Eagles last week with 25 kills against FAU and 46 kills on the week.  Mesner paced FGCU with an attack percentage of .425 through the team’s last three games.

Christine Pinder (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz High School) and Gigi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS) have also aided the Eagles’ attack this year.  Pinder has added 2.55 kills per set, while Meyer produces an average of 10.22 assists per stanza.

Defensively, Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind./Wapahani High School) leads the squad with a team-high 256 digs on the season, while Karina Mambuca (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast High School) leads all players with 55 blocks through 19 games.

After defeating USC Upstate in five sets on Friday, the team dropped a 3-0 decision at ETSU Saturday afternoon at Brooks Gym.  Scores of 25-16, 25-20 and 25-16 pushed the Bucs past the Eagles and enabled ETSU to maintain sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Sun, while the Eagles’ seven-game win streak was snapped in Johnson City, Tenn.    

The Eagles struggled offensively at ETSU with an attack percentage of just .088, while allowing the Bucs to hit .283 and record 46 kills on the day.

Mesner led the team with 10 kills in three sets and an attack percentage of .278.  Pinder helped the Eagles defensively with a team-high 12 digs in the match.

FIU enters the out of conference contest with a record of 7-9 on the year and a 1-3 mark in its Conference USA schedule.  The Panthers faced Atlantic Sun foes Jacksonville and Northern Kentucky earlier this season and went 1-1, earning a 3-2 loss against JU and defeating Northern Kentucky 3-1.  They have lost their last three games with 3-0 decisions to Marshall, UTSA and UTEP in C-USA play and are 5-3 in games played on Lime Court at the U.S. Century Bank Arena.

Senior Kimberly Smith leads the Panthers with an average of 3.09 kills per set and is tied with a team-high with 173 kills on the year.  Junior Ksenia Sukhareva has also recorded 173 kills this season and holds an average of 2.98 kills per set.  Sukhareva also adds to the Panther’s play defensively with 2.34 digs per set.  Jessica Mendoza has paced FIU defensively with 3.22 digs per set and 190 on the year.  The duo of Anabela Sataric and Ashlee Hodgskin combine for 9.29 assists per set with a total 481 on the year.

As a team, the Panthers have maintained a .197 attack percentage through 16 games, while holding opponents to .186. 

The Eagles and Panthers have met five times since the Eagles’ transition to Division I play in 2007. The Panthers earned a win in the first meeting and extended a win-streak to three games with two 3-0 wins in 2011.  The Eagles earned a pair of wins in 2012 with a 3-2 win over FIU in the Florida Tournament and a 3-0 win in Fort Myers. 

Following the nonconference matchup, the Eagles will return to Alico Arena to host Lipscomb and Northern Kentucky this weekend.  The contest against Lipscomb is slated for 7 p.m. on Friday evening and will precede FGCU’s Dunk City After Dark event.  Tickets to Friday’s game will be sold at half price and will allow fans to guarantee a seat for the basketball event which will be featured live on ESPNU.  

2013-14 volleyball tickets are available by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets. Single-game tickets can 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.