ATLANTA, Ga. - ASUN Conference Volleyball action heads towards the final stretch of the season with a championship, championship berths and seeds still on the line. Much will be decided over the final two weeks of the season and it all starts this weekend with exciting action. Of the eight matches that are slated, seven are set to be broadcast on ESPN+.
Three ASUN squads rank in the Top-150 of the NCAA RPI with FGCU leading the way at 55 followed by Kennesaw State (105) and Liberty (128). Last week the Flames joined the Eagles and Owls as they are the only three teams that have clinched a spot in the 2019 ASUN Conference Volleyball Championship that will take place Nov. 21-23, in Fort Myers, Fla.
FGCU Eagles (24-3, 12-1 ASUN)
Upcoming Matches: at Kennesaw State* (11/8; 7 PM - ESPN+) | at Lipscomb* (11/10; 1 PM ET - ESPN+)
Last Three Matches: vs. North Florida* (W, 3-0) | vs. Stetson* (W, 3-0) | vs. Liberty* (W, 3-0)
- Chelsey Lockey ranks 10th in the NCAA in assists (1,000) and 16th in assists per set (11.24); she has recorded 30+ assists in 23 of her 27 matches this season and is 24 assists away from reaching 1,500 career assists.
- Cortney VanLiew ranks 35th in the country in points per set (4.66), 37th in kills per set (4.13) and 42nd in kills (355) and points (401); Dana Axner, the ASUN Defensive Player of the Week, moved up to 13th in the nation in digs per set (5.30) while reaming at 37th in digs (456).
- Daniele Serrano earned the ASUN Player of the Week recognition after averaging 3.11 kills, 2.11 blocks while hitting .400; she is second in the ASUN Volleyball career standings for total blocks with 455, just 20 shy of taking the top spot that was set in 2013 by Meredith Hardy; she has added 92 blocks this season.
- FGCU enters the weekend on a 14-match winning streak, tied seventh in the nation for longest streak this season; the Eagles have won 12 consecutive conference matches, including the past eight in straight sets; FGCU holds a 16-10 all-time record against KSU, winning the last three meetings.
Jacksonville Dolphins (9-18, 5-8 ASUN)
Upcoming Matches: at North Florida* (11/8; 7 PM - ESPN+) | vs. Bethune-Cookman (11/10; 1 PM)
Last Three Matches: at NJIT* (W, 3-0) | vs. North Alabama* (W, 3-0) | at Stetson* (L, 3-0)
- Sydney Bolding earned her second ASUN Freshman of the Week honor after averaging 2.89 kills & 1.1 blocks, while swinging .533 in the Dolphins 2-1 week; she is the only ASUN rookie to rank in the Top-10 in the nation for hitting percentage, sitting at No. 7 with a .426 hitting percentage this season while hitting .441 in ASUN play.
- Mallory Mattingly has 1,367 career kills and has cracked the Top-15 in ASUN history; she is just 86 shy of passing FGCU's Amanda Carroll who sits ninth with 1,452; ranks No. 43 in the country in points (397.5); earned her 1,000 career dig in the match against Liberty (10/27), becoming only the fourth player in program history to record 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in her career.
- Natalie Wehner is one-of-two ASUN defensive specialists ranked in the Top-25 in the country in total digs, sitting at 22nd (472); she has recorded 15 digs or more in 17 of her matches this season and eclipsed the 1,000 career mark in the match against FGCU (10/25); Natalie Martin is tied for 47th in the country in total assists this season with 883.
- As a team, the Dolphins are ranked in the Top-50 nationally in total team kills (46th; 1,237); Jacksonville is 17-21 all-time against UNF and the last time they won at the UNF Arena was Oct. 20, 2017.
Kennesaw State Owls (16-8, 9-3 ASUN)
Upcoming Matches: vs. FGCU* (11/8; 7 PM - ESPN+) | at Stetson* (11/10; 1 PM - ESPN+)
Last Three Matches: vs. Lipscomb* (L, 3-0) | vs. NJIT* (W, 3-0) | at North Florida* (L, 3-1)
- As a team, the Owls rank in the Top-10 in two NCAA categories - aces (4th; 179) and aces per set (5th; 1.99); KSU also ranks in the Top-25 in assists per set (20th; 13.08) and kills per set (23rd; 13.98).
- Lauren Chastang is fourth in the nation in aces (52) while sitting fifth in aces per set (.58); Lexi Broadwater is second in the country in assists per set (11.67) and fifth in total assists (1,050).
- Quin Sutphin is second in the ASUN hitting .399 in conference play; the middle blocker was one of three hitters for the Owls that reached double-digit kills against FGCU earlier this season with 12 joining Chastang (18) and Dani Ballou (10) as KSU tallied 49 kills to FGCU's 43.
- FGCU has won the last three matchups including a 3-1 decision in Fort Myers earlier this season, however, KSU is 4-2 at home against the Eagles since 2013 with only one loss in the regular season in 2014; KSU is 8-2 on its home court this season and with only one loss at home in conference play.
Liberty Flames (16-9, 9-4 ASUN)
Upcoming Matches: at North Florida* (11/10; 1 PM - ESPN+) | at Stetson* (11/12; 6 PM - ESPN+)
Last Three Matches: vs. North Alabama* (W, 3-2) | vs. Lipscomb* (W, 3-1) | at FGCU* (L, 3-0)
- Amelia Johnson continues to lead the Liberty attack averaging 4.06 kills per set (44th nationally) for a total of 365 kills this season; Johnson also is nationally-ranked in total points (29th; 411.5) and points per set (42nd; 4.57).
- Anna Gragg is 33rd in the country in hitting percentage (.385) and is second in the ASUN in overall hitting percentage while ranking fourth in league play with a .388 mark; her two best outings of the season came against North Florida and Stetson as she hit an impressive .875 and .619, respectively.
- As a team, Liberty ranks 22nd in the NCAA for team blocks (230.5) and 35th nationally in team blocks per set (2.53); Kailey Macy leads the Flames in blocks averaging 1.24 per set good for 42nd in the country.
- Earlier this year, the Flames earned a 3-0 sweep over the Ospreys while falling 3-2 at home against the Hatters; the loss at home against Stetson snapped their 13-match home winning streak.
Lipscomb Bisons (12-11, 8-4 ASUN)
Upcoming Matches: vs. NJIT* (11/8; 6:30 PM CT - ESPN+) | vs. FGCU* (11/10; 2 PM CT - ESPN+)
Last Three Matches: at Kennesaw State* (W, 3-0) | at Liberty* (L, 3-1) | vs. Stetson* (L, 3-2)
- Lipscomb will host its final two matches this season at Allen Arena before ending the season next week on the road; the Bisons are 5-3 on their home floor this season, including a 4-2 record in league play.
- Morgan Elmore has 3,343 career assists, putting her 16th in the ASUN career record book for total assists, 72 shy of 12th place; has an average of 10.58 assists per set which ranks 43rd in the NCAA with 878 total assists this season, setting a career-high against Stetson with 62.
- Megan Kuper has combined for 77 kills and 46 digs in her last five matches, setting career-highs in kills (22) and digs (17) against Stetson and a .619 mark in her last outing against KSU; Garrett Joiner and Maddie Phillips lead the team with 205 and 203 kills, respectively.
- The Bisons hold a 16-10 all-time record over the Eagles including a a 9-5 record inside Allen Arena; the last time Lipscomb defeated FGCU at home was on Nov. 19, 2016, in the ASUN Volleyball Championship Final.
NJIT Highlanders (1-27, 0-12 ASUN)
Upcoming Matches: at Lipscomb* (11/8; 7:30 PM ET - ESPN+) | at North Alabama* (11/9; 1 PM ET - ESPN+)
Last Three Matches: vs. Jacksonville* (L, 3-0) | vs. North Florida* (L, 3-0) | at Kennesaw State* (L, 3-0)
- Madi Busler leads the team with 191 kills and averages 2.25 kills per set; in league play, she averages 2.16 kills per set while Susan Blake and Sarah Merritt average 1.95 and 1.91 kills per set, respectively.
- Olivia Welsch has totaled 294 digs this season, 110 coming in league play and has a total of 881 digs in her career; averages 2.89 digs per set in conference play while holding a 3.06 mark overall.
- Liz Benson has 530 assists this season with a 6.46 assists per set average; the senior setter is just 106 assists away from 2,500 in her career.
- NJIT looks for its second win this season as it travels to UNA; The Highlanders opened the match with a 28-26 win in set one before UNA took the match.
North Alabama Lions (3-23, 1-12 ASUN)
Upcoming Match: vs. NJIT* (11/9; 12 PM CT - ESPN+)
Last Three Matches: at Liberty* (L, 3-2) | at Jacksonville* (L, 3-0) | vs. FGCU* (L, 3-0)
- UNA will close out the regular season at home as they host NJIT, Stetson and North Florida in the last two weeks of league play.
- Anna Katherine-Griggs leads the North Alabama offense this season with 147 kills while Alyssa Dutton has totaled 135 kills; Dutton averages 1.80 kills per set while Griggs averages 1.69 kills per set while hitting .278.
- Breylee Linder has 395 assists this season for a 4.54 assists per set average while Mackenzie Sullivan has 308 digs for a 4.05 digs per set average; As a team, UNA ranks fourth in conference play in total blocks with 94, averaging 2.04 blocks per set in league matches.
- The Lions look to pick up their second ASUN win this season as they host NJIT; UNA battled back after dropping the opening set to NJIT to earn a 3-1 win on the road.
North Florida Ospreys (13-15, 5-7 ASUN)
Upcoming Matches: vs. Jacksonville* (11/8; 7 PM - ESPN+) | vs. Liberty* (11/10; 1 PM - ESPN+)
Last Three Matches: at Bethune-Cookman (W, 3-1) | at FGCU* (L, 3-0) | at NJIT* (W, 3-0)
- North Florida holds the all-time series advantage against Jacksonville 21-17 and holds a 12-5 record when hosting Jacksonville; The Ospreys won the first match between the two squads this season, as the two teams saw their first five-set match against each other since Sept. 23, 2016.
- UNF's freshmen of Julianna Askew and Rocio Moro are making a name for themselves in the ASUN and around the country as Askew has 1,090 assists, good for the third-most in NCAA Division I while her 49 service aces rank eighth in the nation; Moro leads the ASUN in digs, posting 531, good for the 11th-most digs in Division I.
- Taryn Griffey is third in the league in solo blocks (13) while leading the ASUN with nine solo blocks in conference play; she has 295 kills this season while hitting .320 overall this season.
- As a team, North Florida ranks sixth nationally in team assists (1,289) and is eighth in the NCAA for team kills (1,374) while sitting 18th in aces (161).
Stetson Hatters (10-12, 7-5 ASUN)
Upcoming Matches: vs. Kennesaw State* (11/10; 1 PM - ESPN+) | vs. Liberty* (11/12; 6 PM - ESPN+)
Last Three Matches: at FGCU* (L, 3-0) | vs. Jacksonville* (W, 3-0) | at Lipscomb* (W, 3-2)
- Before meeting FGCU last week, Stetson rattled off a single-season school record eight wins in a row; included in the eight wins was a 3-2 victory over Liberty and four sweeps.
- Elena Djokovic has recorded 13 kills or more in five of her last seven matches, including a career-high 19 in Stetson's 3-2 win over North Florida on Oct. 25; the rookie has 153 kills in conference play (5th) while averaging 3.26 (6th).
- Brianna Schmid has the top hitting percentage for the Hatters this season with a .331 clip overall, placing her in the top four in the league; she also leads the ASUN in solo blocks with a total of 17, eight coming in league play.
- Stetson leads the ASUN in digs per set overall (15.99) and in league play (17.34); the Hatters also rank second in solo blocks overall (49) while ranking first in solo blocks in ASUN play (25).
ABOUT THE ASUN
The ASUN Conference is an NCAA Division I league with nine member institutions committed to Building Winners for Life. The ASUN meets the challenge of maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement through a true balance between student and athlete. Six ASUN schools reside in Nielsen Top 50 national media markets, and all nine are in top 80 markets. The ASUN includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Liberty University, Lipscomb University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, University of North Alabama, University of North Florida and Stetson University. Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky., joins the ASUN for the 2020-21 academic year.