Volleyball Opens With Northern Kentucky
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University volleyball team opens the 2006 season on Thursday night at 7:00 PM in Alico Arena versus Northern Kentucky.
The Eagles are coming off of a 27-4 campaign which saw FGCU advance to the NCAA Regional finals. Head Coach Jaye Flood, entering her third season at the helm at FGCU, welcomes back five players from last season’s squad including three starters as well as libero Whitney Hendry. Seven talented newcomers also join the mix for the Eagles this season.
Ericka Fonseca headlines the returning starters coming off of a season in which she was named honorable mention All-American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). Fonseca led the squad in kills with 405 and finished with a .362 hitting percentage, placing her 26th in the NCAA Division II final statistics. Fonseca also led the team in blocks, averaging 1.21 per game. Hendry, also tabbed honorable mention All-American by AVCA, was 9th in the nation in digs, averaging 6.00 per game. Brooke Youngquist and Heather Van Olst are the other returning starters for the Eagles. The duo averaged 4.89 kills per game combined.
The Eagles will break in a new setter this season in Chandra Ginest. Ginest transfers to FGCU after spending her freshman season at Winthrop where she earned Big South Freshman of the Year honors. She averaged a league-leading 12.33 assists per game while garnering Big South Freshman of the Week honors three times during the 2006 campaign. Patricia Gomes da Silva and Ashley Yance, both redshirted last season, will begin their first season of competition with the Eagles this season. Thais Alessandra De Franca, Audra Bryan, Chyenne Jenks and Cara Ziegler also will be in their first year with the program.
Northern Kentucky was selected to win the Great Lakes Valley Conference this season after finishing 26-7 last season and returning five starters. Of the five returning starters, only setter Andrea Lanham is a senior. She currently ranks second in school history with 3477 career assists. The Norse also return Liz Holmes who was an honorable mention All-American selection by the AVCA after leading the team in kills.
Tickets for the contest are $5 for general admission seats and FGCU students receive free admission with their ID.