The Francis Marion University women’s volleyball team will play four matches this weekend at the South Region Challenge, hosted by USC Aiken. FMU (7-15 record) will play two matches on Friday: against Nova Southeastern University (7-13) at noon and against Lynn University (12-13) at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, the Patriots will play Rollins College (7-15) at 12:30 p.m. and Lenoir-Rhyne College (11-11) at 5:30 p.m. Patriot freshman Lezlie Logan leads the team with a season average of 2.83 kills per game, is tied for the team lead in hitting percentage (.243), and is second in blocks (0.90 per game). Junior Jackie Ackman leads the squad in digs (3.03 per game), while sophomore Kelly Feber leads the Patriots and ranks fourth in the Peach Belt Conference in service aces (0.58 per game). FMU is 6-0 this season when winning the opening game of a match.
Both the Francis Marion men’s and women’s soccer teams will travel to the Upstate to play USC Spartanburg in a key Peach Belt Conference doubleheader. The twinbill was originally slated for Saturday evening, but has been pushed backed to Sunday afternoon (Oct. 19) due to the death and funeral of a parent of a Patriot player. The women’s match will start at 1 p.m., followed by the men’s match at 3:30 p.m.
The Patriot women were 7-5-0 overall (2-2-0 in the PBC) heading into Thursday’s non-conference match at Belmont Abbey College. USCS is 9-3-1 overall and third in the PBC standings (3-1-0), one game ahead of the fourth-place Patriots. USCS is coached by former FMU player and assistant coach Kendall Reyes. Francis Marion leads the series 3-1-1. The “Katie Connection” continues to lead FMU in scoring, with senior Katie Roberts having seven goals and five assists and sophomore Katie Riley having seven goals and four assists.
The Patriot men (8-5-0, 1-2-0) will face the nation’s second-ranked team and the PBC leader in USCS (10-0-0, 4-0-0). The Patriots are 0-5 all-time when facing opponents ranked first or second. Francis Marion trails in the all-time series with USCS 14-4, but the Patriots have come away victorious in each of their last three trips to Spartanburg, including a 2-1 upset of a fourth-ranked Rifle squad last year. With six matches remaining, senior forward Ben Chavolla’s 13 goals equal the eighth-highest season total in FMU team history.
The sixth-ranked Francis Marion golf team will play in the 36-hole North Shore/Pfeiffer University Intercollegiate Tournament, Monday and Tuesday in Sneads Ferry, N.C. The Patriots are coming off two impressive performances that saw the defending NCAA Division II national champs win the AFLAC/Cougar Invitational in Columbus, Ga., and finish second, after losing out in a playoff for the title, at the Presbyterian College Intercollegiate Tournament. Two-time All-American Fredrik Ohlsson leads the Patriots with a 73.75 stroke average.
The FMU men’s and women’s soccer teams will both play host to Lander University on Florence Youth Soccer Association/Patriot Soccer Camp Day, Saturday, Oct. 25. The PBC doubleheader will begin with the women’s match at 1 p.m., followed by the men’s match at 3:30 p.m. A free youth soccer clinic will follow the men’s match. Admission to the matches is also free. All FYSA players or teams and those FMU summer soccer camp participants interested in attending the clinic should call the FMU athletic office at 843-661-1240 so organizers can have a headcount. The Patriot soccer programs regularly schedule four camps during the summer in Florence and surrounding Pee Dee area towns.
The Patriot men’s and women’s basketball teams will hold a Tip-Off Jamboree, Saturday, Oct. 25, in the Smith University Center. The event will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. and will give fans a chance to meet the 2003-04 men’s and women’s squads. Games and prizes will also be part of the afternoon’s festivities.
PEACH BELT CONFERENCE
The Peach Belt Conference in only its 13th year of existence has produced 18 NCAA Division II national champions and 16 national runners-up. Currently, at least one PBC member school is ranked in the top 5 of each of the men’s soccer, women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, and golf national polls.