FORT MYERS, Fla. - FGCU Head Volleyball Coach Dave Nichols has announced the 2009 volleyball schedule. The back-to-back A-Sun Regular Season Champions will play 10 home contests, all 10 Atlantic Sun foes plus travel to the University of Southern California to participate in the Holiday Inn LA City Center Trojan Invitational.
“I am excited about the teams that we play this year,” said Nichols. “We have several challenging matches against teams that are top-25 caliber. I am looking forward to working with the team to prepare them for this season.”
The Eagles open the season at the University of Miami Tournament, where they will play a pair of matches. Following that tournament, the Eagles travel to Los Angeles, Calif. for the Holiday Inn LA City Center Trojan Invitational at USC’s Galen Center where they will face USC and Northern Arizona. The host Trojans were 17-12 last season. The Eagles will head to Malibu, Calif. to take on Pepperdine on Sept. 5 for their final game in the Holiday Inn LA City Center Trojan Invitational.
The Lady Eagles will once again play a double round-robin schedule in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Florida Gulf Coast, North Florida, and Kennesaw State will be eligible for the conference tournament for the first time this season, while USC-Upstate is still not eligible for postseason play.
For the second year in a row the Eagles will open the A-Sun portion of the season against Stetson. The match will be played at Stetson on Sept. 8. The Hatters will visit Alico Arena Oct. 13. The Eagles then have three more road games against Campbell (Sept. 11), ETSU (Sept. 12), and USC Upstate (Sept. 14). The Eagles will make their 2009 debut in Alico Arena, where they are 43-2 all-time, when they open up with reigning A-Sun Tournament Champion Belmont on September 18. The Eagles will also face A-Sun Tournament Runner-up Lipscomb while they are at home.
FGCU will then head to Jacksonville, Fla. to face Jacksonville (Sept. 25) and North Florida (Sept. 26). The Eagles defeated JU 3-0 in Alico Arena, but fell to the Dolphins on the road in the season finale 3-1. Last season against UNF, FGCU won both matchups 3-0.
Eagles have a season long five-game home-stand beginning on October 8 where two of the top four seeds in the conference tournament from a year ago visit Fort Myers. The home-stand begins with Mercer and finishes up with Jacksonville.
The next three games will be played on the road as the Eagles travel to Boca Raton, Fla. to face FAU (Oct. 20) in non-conference competition before facing Lipscomb (Oct. 23) and Belmont (Oct. 24).
The remaining home matches are ETSU (Oct. 30), Campbell (Oct. 31), and USC Upstate (Nov. 12).
The rest of the road schedule for the Lady Eagles includes Kennesaw State (Nov. 6), Mercer (Nov. 7), and FIU (Nov. 11).
FGCU returns two starters from the 2008 league champions including Atlantic Sun Conference All-Freshman selection Holly Youngquist. The Atlantic Sun Volleyball Tournament will be held at FGCU’s Alico Arena in Fort Myers, Fla. in 2009.