FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU volleyball team play their final non-conference matches of the season as they host the FIU Panthers (16-10 overall, 10-4) at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, followed by a Thursday night (7 p.m.) matchup in Tampa, Fla. with the Bulls of USF (10-14 overall, 6-7 BIG EAST).
FGCU (5-18 overall, 2-7 A-Sun) has nine players between 59 and 172 kills so far this season, led by seniors Chelsea Lyles (Colorado Springs, Col./Harrison HS/Western Nebraska CC) and Caitlin Shawver (Lauderdale by the Sea, Fla./Northeast HS/Barry), and sophomore Brittany Muse (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto County HS). Junior Holly Youngquist (Estero, Fla./Evangelical Christian), who was recently named to the ESPN Academic All-District 3 second team on Nov. 4, leads the Eagles with an impressive 4.23 digs per set, while freshman Camil Dominguez (Santo Domingo, D.R./Santa Teresita) is averaging 9.29 assists per set.
Live stats for the match against FIU will be available on www.FGCUAthletics.com and can be seen live on A-Sun.TV.
Tuesday, November 9
FGCU vs. FIU, 7 p.m.
Series Information: FIU leads 0-3
Thursday, November 11
FGCU at USF, 7 p.m.
Series Information: Series tied 1-1
SCOUTING THE PANTHERS
With a 3-2 (25-17, 17-25, 24-26, 25-15, 15-10) win over Louisiana on November 7, FIU picked up their sixth home victory of the season. Junior Andrea Lakovic recorded a career-high 23 kills to lead the Panthers to the thrilling come from behind win.
Lakovic leads FIU with 291 kills per set and 88 total blocks. Lakovic’s 3.00 kills per set lead the squad. Una Trkulja is second on the squad with 275 kills. Natalia Valentin runs the offense for the Panthers having recorded 1,066 assists this season.
FIU holds a 3-0 lead in the series over the Eagles. The last time these two teams met was in Miami, Fla. on November 11, 2009. Jelena Simic (Lazarevac, Serbia/ Kolubara Technical School/Seward County CC) finished with seven kills as FGCU was swept 3-0 (25-16, 25-14, 25-21).
SCOUTING THE BULLS
With the race for the BIG EAST Championship heating up, the USF volleyball team fell in straight sets to Connecticut on Sunday. The Bulls, who opened up league play with a 4-1 record, have now lost five out of their last seven BIG EAST matchups to put them at 6-7 in conference play heading into the final BIG EAST game next Sunday against Villanova.
USF is led by Allie Boaz’s 271 kills (3.23 per set). Boaz has also racked up 45 total blocks and is hitting .292 on the season. Setter Marlana Thon is averaging 9.25 assists per set (860 total assists), while on the defensive side, Janice Rivera has racked up 385 digs.
Last season in the second game of the Hurricane Invite, Emma Racila (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot/College of Charleston) had a game-high 20 kills in the 3-1 (26-24, 24-26, 25-13, 28-26) loss to Bulls.