Fort Myers, Fla. – The FGCU Volleyball team will look to extend their winning streak as they travel to Harrisonburg, Virginia for the James Madison University/Days Inn Invitational this weekend. After dropping a five-game heartbreaker to TCU in their first match of the season, the Eagles have rattled off six straight victories. During that string they have captured two tournament titles while winning four of the six matches by three-game sweeps. Last weekend they won their inaugural tournament, the FGCU Supervolley, by defeating North Carolina Central University and Bethune-Cookman University. Roberta Santos again led the way for the Eagles, as she was named tournament MVP with 30 assists, 21 digs, 14 kills (hitting .444), and four aces.
FGCU opens the tournament Friday morning at 10:00am against Elon. The Phoenix come into the tournament with a 4-5 record after losing their last four matches. Last weekend they went 0-3 at the University of Illinois-Chicago Invitational, dropping matches to McNeese State, North Dakota State, and host Illinois-Chicago. Elon is led by senior middle blocker Emily Lucci. She has compiled 83 kills (hitting .289), 29 blocks, and 68 digs.
Later on Friday the Eagles will take on the Buccaneers of Charleston Southern University. They come into the tournament with a record of 6-4 and are riding a three-match winning streak. On Tuesday the Bucs defeated Georgia Southern in a thrilling five-game affair (30-26, 30-32, 30-28, 23-30, 15-13) that lasted two hours and 26 minutes. CSU saw five different players reach double figures in kills and four different players reach double figures in digs. Nichole Diller (So., RS) led the team in kills with 18, while Renae Popovich (Sr., OH) chipped in 15 kills and 23 digs. Sophomore setter Sam Sasan was the most impressive of them all, recording a triple-double with 10 kills, 11 digs, and 58 assists. In just 10 matches Sasan has already recorded 50 assists five times, which leads the Big South Conference.
Saturday the Eagles will wrap up the tournament with a match against the host James Madison University Dukes. JMU comes into the tournament with a 4-4 record after a 2-1 showing at the Hilton Garden Inn Greenbelt Invitational at the University of Maryland. They swept Temple and New Hampshire on Saturday after falling to host Maryland on Friday. Allyson Halls (Sr., MB) was named to the all-tournament team for the third week in a row. For the season she has 100 kills, 33 blocks (10 solo), and a .303 hitting percentage.
Next week the Eagles will experience another first for FGCU: a conference match. Friday the Eagles take on Atlantic Sun opponent Gardner-Webb at 7:00pm at Alico Arena. Saturday they will continue conference play at Alico Arena against Campbell at 7:00pm.
JMU/Days Inn Invitational Schedule
Friday, September 14
FGCU vs. Elon – 10:00am
James Madison vs. Charleston Southern – 12:00pm
FGCU vs. Charleston Southern – 5:00pm
James Madison vs. Elon – 7:00pm Saturday
Elon vs. Charleston Southern – 11:00am
FGCU vs. James Madison – 1:00pm