After a week-long break from conference play, the push towards making the six-team Atlantic Sun Volleyball Championship in Fort Myers, Fla., begins again with nine league games slated for the weekend. The conference's top teams could lock in their spots by the end of play on Saturday. If you have ways we can improve the VolleyBlog, we'll take all suggestions in our comments section, through our Facebook page or via Twitter.
ETSU Returns to 20-Win Status
With sweeps against Wofford and Presbyterian, ETSU became the first A-Sun school reach 20 wins. The Bucs last won 20 games in 2006 when they finished 25-7. ETSU joins only 13 schools in country to have reached that mark already in 2010. The Atlantic Sun has featured multiple 20-win teams in nine of the previous 10 years and Lipscomb stands as the favorite to join ETSU. The Lady Bisons enter the week 16-6 with six regular-season games remaining.
Mercer's Hurley at Near-Record Clip
In Mercer's four-set victory against Florida A&M, senior Krista Hurley totaled 12 kills - a number alone that would not pop out - when upon seeing her chances total, 14, and the following hitting percentage, a staggering .857, suddenly its a note worth talking about. No player in the conference had posted as high a percentage (with at least 12 kills) since Belmont's Jaye Schuler hit an equal .857 (12-0-14) against Stetson on Sept 29, 2006. A former Bear, Andrea Shipley, holds the conference record of .923 (12-0-13) set against Alabama A&M on October 30, 2002.
A Grand Achievement
Two A-Sun volleyball players reached career milestones during the past week. In Jacksonville's contest with Seattle, the Dolphins' Aidan Yeager surpassed 1,000 kills for her career. In the same Mercer match in which Hurley posted her. 857 hitting percentage, her teammate, Aimee Frutchey, became the 6th in school history to total 1,000 digs.
Campbell's Allyson Goldbach won the league's Player of the Week award after posting the league's third 20-20 performance of the year. Against Coastal Carolina she totaled 21 kills and 23 digs. The conference's two other 20-20 games came in the first weekend of the season. Lipscomb's Alex Kelly collected 20 kills and 21 digs against Kansas and FGCU's Camil Dominguez tallied 21 digs and 41 assists against FAU.
The first spots for next month's A-Sun Championship could be secured by the end of the weekend. At 5-0, Lipscomb has the easiest path. Wins against UNF and Jacksonville will allow the Lady Bisons a chance to defend their crown in Fort Myers, Fla. At 5-1 and in second place, Kennesaw State would be in with a win at Campbell and a loss by FGCU, UNF, and a second loss by Campbell. ETSU could return to the field after a one-year absense with two wins, and a loss by UNF and two losses by Campbell or Jacksonville. If your head hurts, just follow AtlanticSun.org throughout the weekend and check for the magic clinching "*" to appear next to your favorite team.