FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University seniors Jessica Lombardi and Jenna Kaiser were recently named to the 2008 All-Peach Belt Conference Volleyball Team, while FMU head coach Paul MacDonald was honored as one of the conference’s “Co-Coaches of the Year.”
MacDonald guided a team picked to finish fourth in the pre-season PBC poll to a 23-8 record, second-place finishes during the PBC regular-season and tournament, and to the program’s third-ever NCAA Division II National Tournament invitation. During the season, MacDonald also picked up his 100th career coaching victory.
The Patriots, seeded fifth in the Southeast Regional to be played in Wingate, N.C., will play fourth-seeded Catawba College (20-10) on Friday at 5 p.m. in a first-round match. The regional semifinals are set for Saturday with the finals on Sunday.
Ticket prices for each session will be $8 for adults, $5 for students, and $3 for children (ages 12 and under). Live stats are available at http://www.sports.wingate.edu/2008_Southeast_Regional_Page.asp
Lombardi, a 5-11 middle blocker, leads the Patriots in kills per set (2.87) and hitting percentage (.254). In the PBC she ranks sixth in kills per set and ninth in hitting percentage. The Massillon, Ohio, native also averages 2.05 digs, 0.75 blocks, and 0.27 service aces per game. She has posted five double-doubles (kills and digs) and was named the PBC Player of the Week once during the regular season.
Lombardi has 1,267 career kills, 13th-best on the all-time Peach Belt list, and 990 career digs.
Kaiser, a 5-10 setter, directs the FMU offense and ranks second in the conference, and 49th nationally, in assists per set at 9.80. The Broomfield, Colo., native is also 14th in the conference in digs per set (2.62). Along the serving line, she registered 15 aces and committed only four errors in 319 total serves for a .987 percentage. Despite battling injuries, she recorded nine double-doubles, and was twice named the PBC Specialist of the Week this past season.
Kaiser ranks ninth on the PBC career list for assists with 3,924, and has also compiled 1,104 career digs.
It is the second time both have earned All-PBC honors. Lombardi was named to the 2007 squad, while Kaiser was on the 2006 team as well as being the 2005 Freshman of the Year.
Both also excel in the classroom, having been named to the PBC Presidential and FMU Swamp Fox Athletic-Academic honors three times.
Lombardi is a former All-Federal League selection and Stark County Player of the Year at Jackson High School. Kaiser is a former three-sport standout at Broomfield High School.