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Volleyball Set to Face UNF in Atlantic Sun Championship Semifinals
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MASTERS - 2
FORT MYERS, Fla. – For the third time this season and second consecutive year in the conference tournament, the FGCU volleyball team will take on UNF on Friday, Nov. 16 at 8:30 p.m. (ET) in semifinals of the 2012 Atlantic Sun Championship at Lipscomb's Allen Arena.
The 2012 A-Sun regular season champs and No. 1 seed Eagles (22-9 overall, 16-2 A-Sun), making their third appearance in the last four years at the conference tournament, head into the tournament having won three of their last four matches.
The Ospreys (21-11, 11-7 A-Sun) are making their third consecutive appearance in the conference postseason after securing the No. 4 seed. UNF advanced to the semifinals after sweeping fifth-seeded Jacksonville 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-13) in the quarterfinal round (Nov. 15).
The Green and Blue (22-9, 16-2 A-Sun) hold a 13-2 advantage in the all-time series against the Ospreys, including a sweep of the team's two regular season contests this season. In the first meeting on Sept. 25, the sophomore duo of Jill Hopper (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown HS) and Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River HS) finished with eight kills each as the Eagles swept UNF 3-0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-17). In the rematch, on Tuesday, Oct. 23 in Jacksonville, Hopper blasted a match-high 20 kills and racked up nine digs as the Green and Blue picked up a 3-1 (29-27, 25-16, 19-25, 25-18) win over the Ospreys.
Earlier this week, head coach Dave Nichols was named A-Sun Coach of the Year, while Hopper and junior Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS/Marshall) earned All-Conference first accolades.
The Green and Blue, who led the A-Sun in hitting percentage (.255) and opponent hitting percentage (.176) in conference matches during the regular season, showcase six players that have registered at least 100+ kills, led by Hopper’s team-leading 306. Mesner led the team and the A-Sun in hitting percentage (.412) in conference matches. Sophomore Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind./Wapahani HS) has recorded 406 digs (3.61/set), while the setting duo of sophomore Gigi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS) and junior Courtney Greenberg (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS/Juniata College) has run the FGCU offense, averaging 5.90 assists and 4.46 assists per set, respectively.
The winner of the UNF-FGCU matchup advances to Saturday’s championship match (4 p.m. ET) to face the winner of No. 2 Lipscomb/No. 3 ETSU.
Fans unable to attend the tournament in Nashville can view Friday's semifinals and Saturday's championship match on ESPN3. Live stats will be available at FGCUAthletics.com
Along with updates on twitter @FGCU_VB and @FGCUEagles, fans can also get volleyball updates from around the Atlantic Sun by using the hashtag #ASUNVB.
FGCU Quick Notes (#ASunVB)
• 3 regular season titles (2007, 2008, 2012)
• 6th 20-win season in program history…3rd since making the move to Division I (2007)
• Jill Hopper has registered 5+ kills in 25 matches, double digit kills in 18 matches and 10 double doubles
• Olivia Mesner led the conference in hitting percentage (.339 overall; .412 in A-Sun matches)
• The Eagles showcase six players that have registered at least 100+ kills, led by Jill Hopper’s team-leading 306
• The Eagles have registered 10+ blocks in 10 matches, including 5 of their last 6
• The Eagles are 5-1 and have only lost 4 sets this season against the remaining competition in the A-Sun Tournament.
• This is FGCU’s 3rd appearance in the A-Sun Tourney…1st time as the No. 1 seed…FGCU was the No. 3 seed in their previous 2 trips
• FGCU picked up 10 sweeps during conference play
• FGCU Volleyball is looking to become the third FGCU program this fall to win the A-Sun regular season and tournament titles (Men’s and Women’s Soccer)
A-Sun Volleyball Championship Quick Notes (#ASunVB)
• The #1 seed has claimed the A-Sun Volleyball Championship title six times since 1999. Here is the breakdown as to how seeds #1-6 have done in the championship:
#1: Six championships 2010 - Lipscomb; 2009 - Lipscomb; 2005 - FAU; 2003 - UCF; 2002 - UCF; 2000 - Georgia State
#2: Four championships 2011 - Lipscomb; 2008 - Belmont; 2006 - Belmont; 2001 - UCF
#3: One championship 1999 - FAU
#4: Two championships 2007 - Lipscomb; 2004 - Jacksonville
• #1 FGCU is playing in its thirdA-Sun Championship. The Eagles have won three regular season titles since joining the A-Sun in 2007. Last season #3 FGCU defeated #6 North Florida to advance to the semifinals, where the Eagles fell 3-0 to eventual A-Sun Champion Lipscomb.
• The #1 seed has played in the championship final in nine of the last 13 championships, while the #2 seed has appeared eight times. The last time the final did not include one or both of the top two seeds was the 2007 final in which #4 Lipscomb defeated #3 Jacksonville, 3-0.