FGCU Volleyball Travels to Armstrong Atlantic Pirate Classic
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University volleyball team continues an eight-match road swing this weekend with its second consecutive tournament as it plays four matches at the Armstrong Atlantic State Pirate Volleyball Classic in Savannah, Ga. The two-day, 15-team tournament will feature 32 matches from September 9-10.
FGCU (6-1) heads into the weekend after winning three of its four matches last weekend at the Amerihost Classic hosted by Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich. The Eagles swept Arkansas Tech, Lake Superior State and Wheeling Jesuit but lost a tough 3-2 match to #14 Grand Valley State for its only loss this season.
FGCU will open this weekend’s tournament on Friday with an 11:00 a.m. match against Francis Marion University (7-2) in the first-ever meeting between the two schools. At 5 p.m., FGCU will face Presbyterian College (8-0), an NCAA tournament team in 2004. Last year the two teams also met in the AASU tournament with FGCU capturing a 3-1 victory. The Blue Hose have won 24 of 26 games in their eight wins thus far in 2005.
On Saturday, FGCU faces Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras at 11 a.m. and Wingate at 3 p.m. It will be the first-ever meeting against UPR Rio Piedras. FGCU and Wingate met in last year’s AASU Pirate Classic with the Eagles winning a tight match 3-2.
The Eagles continue to be led by strong play from its middle blockers. Junior Ericka Fonseca (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) leads the team with 4.17 kills per game and a .387 hitting percentage. Sophomore Tamra Grigsby (West Palm Beach, Fla.) is second on the team with 3.47 kills per game. Fonseca and Grigsby have helped the Eagles hold a 76-46 block advantage early in the season.
Sophomore outside hitter Brooke Youngquist (Fort Myers, Fla.) is averaging 3.22 kills per game and leads the team with 12 service aces while senior Devon Watts (Somerville, Texas) has posted double-digit kills in five matches, posted a pair of double-doubles, and has a .312 hitting percentage.
Sophomore libero Whitney Hendry (Fort Myers, Fla.), who was named to the Grand Valley Classic All-Tournament team, leads the defensive effort. Hendry posted a season-high 31 digs against Grand Valley State and averages 6.45 digs per game.
Following this weekend's tournament, the Eagles return to Alico Arena for two games next week. FGCU hosts Palm Beach Atlantic on Wednesday and Lynn on Friday. Both matches start at 7 p.m.
In lieu of purchasing tickets, fans are asked to make donations to the American Red Cross to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina. Volunteers will collect all donations at the entrances to Alico Arena.