FGCU (16-2) at USF (12-5)When: Tonight, 7:30Where: The CorralTV/Radio: None
The women’s volleyball team will attempt to win its third game in as many tries today when they take on Florida Gulf Coast University.
The first two games on the Bulls’ (12-5) home stand were 3-1 victories over West Virginia and Pittsburgh. The Bulls offense really got into rhythm over the weekend, posting 120 kills in the two matches and achieving a season-high .379 hitting percentage against the Mountaineers.
Marcela Gurgel was the only Bull to pull off double-doubles in each win. Gurgel was named Big East Player of the Week for her performances over the weekend. The sophomore had 39 kills and nine aces, along with a .411 hitting percentage to help improve the Bulls’ record in the Big East to 4-3.
“Marcela played big for us two nights in a row,” head coach Claire Lessinger said. “She has played a lot of good matches this year, and she really means a lot to our team. She is one of our go-to players, and she is very deserving of this accomplishment.”
The Bulls will need all the help they can get against the Eagles (16-2) who sit atop the Atlantic Sun Conference standings after their recent 3-1 win over East Tennessee State.
Eagles’ junior Ana Kokanovic is rapidly becoming a stand-out player for Florida Gulf Coast. She received her first-ever Player of the Week award two weeks ago after posting consecutive double-doubles. She followed up that week by posting the school’s first-ever triple-double against ETSU. She also set a new conference record with 11 service aces.
The Bulls will have to bring their A-game to keep up with this team on both sides of the ball. The Eagles have out-killed their opponents by nearly 250 this season and are holding opponents to a .142 average hitting percentage.
“This may be a small school, but this is a good team,” said Lessinger. “Their record speaks for itself and they also have a higher RPI than we do, so, small school or not, we have to be ready. They may not be in the Big East, but it will not be an easy win.”