GAME PREVIEW: Volleyball Team in First Round Today
TAMPA, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University volleyball team opens play in the NCAA Division II South Region against Presbyterian College today at noon. The Eagles are seeded third while the Lady Blue Hose are the sixth seed.
In other first round matches, No. 2 Florida Southern faces No. 7 Wingate, No. 4 Barry meets No. 5 Rollins and No. 1 Tampa plays No. 8 Francis Marion. The winner of the FGCU/Presbyterian match will face the Florida Southern/Wingate winner in Saturday's first semifinal at 5:00 p.m.
As the top seed, Tampa, ranked sixth nationally, will serve as host for the eight-team South Region tournament, which will be a single-elimination, best three-of-five game matches.
In all, seven eight-team regionals and one seven-team regional will be played at on-campus sites around the country. The regional winners advance to the NCAA Division II championship finals, December 1-3, on the campus of one of the final eight institutions.
Three conference champions – Tampa (Sunshine State), Francis Marion (Peach Belt) and Presbyterian (South Atlantic) received automatic bids in the South. In addition to FGCU, the other at-large selections included Florida Southern, Barry, Rollins and Wingate. The Eagles are the only independent team selected for the tournament.
When: Friday, November 18 (Noon) at University of Tampa
Where: Tampa, Fla. (Martinez Center)
Radio/Web: Live Webcast at Presbyterian vs. FGCU
Admission: Tickets for the event are $7 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. Children under the age of five are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.
FGCU’s Record: 25-3
Presbyterian Record: 32-4
All-time Series: FGCU leads 3-0.
Florida Gulf Coast Notables: FGCU is making its second straight appearance in the NCAA tournament…Last fall the sixth seeded Eagles upset third seeded Tampa in the first round before falling to second seed North Florida in the semifinals…The Eagles have been ranked No. 25 in the past two AVCA Division II national polls….FGCU boasted a 16-match winning streak before falling at Division I North Florida in the regular season finale…Two Eagles earned Daktronics All-South Region honors on Thursday. Sophomore libero Whitney Hendry was named to the first-team while junior middle blocker Ericka Fonseca was a second-team selection…The Eagles posted a 6-2 record against NCAA Division II tournament qualifiers this fall, including a 3-1 win at Barry in September, a 3-0 shutout of Francis Marion in the Armstrong Atlantic Pirate Classic in September and a pair of wins over Presbyterian. The Eagles knocked off the Blue Hose 3-2 in the Pirate Classic at Armstrong Atlantic State in September and 3-0 at the Lady Blue Hose Invitational in October….FGCU has won 49 of the first 58 matches in school history.
Presbyterian Notables: The Lady Blue Hose earned the South Atlantic Conference’s automatic bid by defeating Wingate University in five games…PC, under the direction of third-year head coach Ed Allen, will be making its third trip to the NCAA Division II postseason tournament, and second consecutive, since the school and South Atlantic Conference moved to NCAA Division II prior to the 1993-94 academic year…Presbyterian has three all-region selections: senior middle hitter Jasmin Brown, who was named the SAC Player of the Year, senior outside hitter Erin Friday, and freshman setter Rachel Lewis.