FORT MYERS, Fla., - The Eagles host Jacksonville and North Florida this weekend in the final home matches of the season. Jacksonville is currently 12-10 overall and 6-2 in league play while UNF is 4-19 overall and 1-7 in A-Sun action.
FGCU is coming off of a 3-2 win at USF on Wednesday night. It marked the first five game win for the Eagles since the second round of the Division II tournament last year. Brooke Youngquist led the Eagles with 23 kills and added 25 digs in the match. The Eagles are now 17-2 in their first year in the Atlantic Sun and NCAA Division I. FGCU is atop the league standings with a 6-1 conference record. FGCU leads the A-Sun in hitting percentage, opponents hitting percentage, assists and kills. Ana Kokanovic has also turned heads this year. She has won the last two A-Sun Player of the Week awards while setting the conference record for aces in a match with 11. In the 3-2 win at USF, she established a new single-season record for aces with her 68th of the year.
Senior middle blocker Melissa Merchant had a solid weekend for Jacksonville, but the Dolphins had their seven-match winning streak snapped. Against Belmont, Merchant picked up 14 kills, six blocks and a .440 (14-3-25) hitting percentage as the Dolphins defeated Belmont, 3-1. Against Lipscomb, Merchant continued to produce, this time with a team-high 12 kills, five blocks and a match-high .524 (12-1-21) hitting percentage in a 3-1 loss. For the week, she finished with 26 kills, 3.25 kills per game, a .478 (26-4-46) hitting percentage, 11 blocks and 1.38 bpg. UNF is currently 4-19 overall and 1-7 in the Atlantic Sun.
The Ospreys have lost their last five matches and play the next three on the road. This season, UNF is 3-3 against in-state foes. The Ospreys are currently hitting .143 as a team. Kaley Read leads the team with 183 kills on the year, while Maegan Weisert paces the team in digs with 308.
Saturday’s match against UNF is the final home game for seniors Whitney Hendry, Brooke Youngquist and Patricia Silva. Hendry and Youngquist are the only players remaining from FGCU’s inaugural team. During their four years at FGCU, they have put together a 97-15 record overall and 31-1 in Alico Arena.