FGCU Volleyball Wins Home Opener in Front of Record Crowd
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Sophomore outside hitter Brooke Youngquist had 13 kills and a career-high 23 digs to lead Florida Gulf Coast University (3-0) to a 3-1 win over Dowling College (2-3) in NCAA Division II volleyball action Monday night. The Eagles rallied past the Golden Lions 29-31, 30-26, 30-24, and 30-15 in front of a home opening crowd of 1,011 fans at Alico Arena.
Dowling, a regional finalist a year ago coming off a 3-2 upset of #3 Barry University on Sunday, stormed out early in game one and held on for the two-point victory behind five kills from outside hitter Marta Slodnik. But Youngquist rallied the Eagles with six kills and six digs in the second game to tie the match 1-1 and the Eagles rolled to their third consecutive win.
Eagles’ senior hitter Devon Watts also posted a double-double, recording a match-high 16 kills and 19 digs. Junior middle blocker Ericka Fonseca recorded 13 kills, her third straight game in double-digits. Sophomore libero Whitney Hendry had 29 digs.
Dowling was paced by Slodnik with 13 kills and 19 digs. Irina Belozerova added 11 kills.
FGCU held a 51-45 lead in kills and 115-88 advantage in digs. The Eagles also held a 22-7 advantage in blocks. The Eagles hit .212 for the match while holding the Golden Lions to a .040 attack percentage.
The crowd set a new volleyball single-match attendance record. Last year's high of 678 against Nova Southeastern was the largest regular season crowd among all Division II south region crowds. Only eight schools nationally were members of the "Grand Club" for volleyball attendance.
Florida Gulf Coast will be back in action when it travels to Michigan to compete in the Grand Valley State Fall Classic over Labor Day weekend. Dowling travels to #9 Tampa on Tuesday night.