MACON, Ga. - Ana Kokanovic hammered home a conference record 37 kills in FGCU's 3-2 win over Mercer to highlight a dominating weekend as the outside hitter claimed her third career Atlantic Sun Player of the Week nod.
The sweep of Kennesaw State and Mercer left the Eagles on the cusp of capturing their second straight A-Sun regular season title. FGCU has won 10 straight matches and 16 of their last 17 overall. Against the Owls, Kokanovic posted a team-high 13 kills while hitting .406 for the match, but she saved the best for Saturday afternoon. The senior scorched the Mercer defense for 37 kills on a .308 hitting percentage while also collecting 20 digs. In the decisive fifth set, Kokanovic piled up six kills to seal the victory. Her 37-kill effort stands alone in Division I this season, out-distancing Rachel Rourke of Oregon State who collected 34 kills in a match at USC on Saturday. In addition to eclipsing the A-Sun record of 35 kills set twice by UCF's Leyre Santaella Sante, the Lazarevac, Serbia native shattered the previous FGCU record of 25 set by Devon Watts in 2005.
The Atlantic Sun Conference is an 11-member league committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun stands for achievement with integrity in both the academic and athletic arenas, with a focus on the balance between the two for our student-athletes. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Belmont University, Campbell University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.
Other Top Performers
Clair Tucker, Mercer (Sr. - Lib - New Orleans, La. - Business) Posted 55 digs in two matches last weekend and ranks in the top-25 nationally in digs per set.
Sara Bendorf, Jacksonville (Sr. - OH - Buckley, Wash. - Accounting) Led the Dolphins to a 3-0 mark last week and their best start since joining the A-Sun in 1998. Posted match-high kills in all three conference victories and piled up 43 kills for the week.