@FGCU_VB Set to Begin 2013 Season This Weekend
Thursday, August 29, 2013 | by Sara Roberts (@Saraannerob)
FGCU volleyball opens its season this weekend at the IUPUI Hampton Inn Invitational.
FGCU volleyball opens its season this weekend at the IUPUI Hampton Inn Invitational.
VCU (1-0)
Florida Gulf Coast (0-1)
8/30/2013 | Indianapolis, Ind. | Attendance: 0
VCU272525 -- --
Florida Gulf Coast251722 -- --
Stats at a GlanceVCUFGCU
Hitting Pct..186.011
Total Attacks10295
Statistical LeadersVCUFGCU
KillsKRISKOVA - 15
AssistsARAGAO - 27
MEYER - 24
HOLM - 1
DigsARAGAO - 10
BlocksREED - 12

INDIANAPOLIS – After earning the preseason nod to claim the 2013 Atlantic Sun Conference title, the reigning A-Sun regular season champion FGCU Eagles are ready to begin the 2013 season as they travel to The Hoosier State for the IUPUI Hampton Inn Invitational Aug. 30-31. The Eagles will face VCU at 4:30 p.m. Friday, then return Saturday for a two games against Illinois State at 10 a.m., and IUPUI at 6:30 p.m.  

Live stats will be available for all three of FGCU’s matches and live video for Saturday night’s IUPUI matchup will be available via IUPUI LIVE!

Under the direction of 2012 A-Sun Coach of the Year Dave Nichols, the Eagles return 10 players who helped FGCU achieve its 22-10 overall/16-2 A-Sun record last year. Joining the team are three freshmen and two transfers.    

Leading the Eagles into 2013 are senior Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS/Marshall), junior Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River HS) and Preseason All-Conference Team selections juniors Jill Hooper (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown HS) and Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind./Wapahani HS), who was also named Preseason Libero of the Year.

Last fall, Holm was unanimously selected to the Atlantic Sun Conference First Team for her .250 hitting percentage, 269 kills and 79 total blocks. She hit .305 in conference matches to rank seventh in the A-Sun.

The 2012 team leader for hits and blocks, Mesner posted a hitting percentage of .337 and had 118 total blocks, allowing her to rank second in the A-Sun for both. Mesner additionally recorded 265 kills and racked up the second highest amount of points on the team with 332.5.

FGCU’s other unanimous A-Sun Conference First Team selection, Hooper, led the Eagles with 332 kills and 392 total points, while leading the conference with 37 service aces. She recorded 10 double-doubles and ranked 72nd in the nation in aces per set (0.34).

The 2013 Preseason Libero of the Year, Masters, led the 2012 Eagles with 421 digs, ranking her eighth in the conference. She finished third on the team in assists with 121 and averaged 3.63 digs per set.

FGCU is 2-3 in season openers and 8-8 in season-opening tournament matches under Nichols.

The Rams begin 2013 under new head coach Jody Rodgers, who led the University of Indianapolis to 406 wins in 16 seasons, and an NCAA Division II Final Four appearance in 2012. Returning three starters from last year’s team which finished 25-6, VCU was predicted to finish 2013 ranked fourth in the Atlantic 10 Conference. 

The Redbirds, who finished the 2012 season with an NCAA Regionals appearance, an 18-12 overall record and an 11-7 mark in conference play, were picked fourth in the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll.

Illinois State returns 10 letter winners, including 2012 MVC Freshman of the Year Ashley Rosch, who led the team last season in kills (336), kills per set (3.08) and points (387.5). Rosch was named to the 2013 MVC Preseason All-Conference Team.

SCOUTING IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis)
The Jaguars, who were recently tabbed the co-favorite to finish 2013 first in the Summit League, ended their 2012 campaign with the program’s first Summit League regular-season title, a 22-10 overall record and a 13-3 conference record. 

IUPUI returns seven letter winners from last year's team, including a pair of all-league performers in sophomore Kaitlin Hickey and senior Moriah Fair. Hickey, 2012 Summit League Freshman of the Year, ranked second on the team in kills with 355 and digs with 460, while Fair led the Jaguars in kills with 383 and averaged 3.30 kills per set to rank seventh in the Summit League.

Friday, Aug. 30, 2013
4:30 p.m. – FGCU vs. VCU
7:00 p.m. – IUPUI vs. Illinois State

Saturday, Aug. 25, 2013
10:00 a.m. – Illinois State vs. FGCU
12:30 p.m. – IUPUI vs. VCU
4:00 p.m. – VCU vs. Illinois State
6:30 p.m. – IUPUI vs. FGCU