Patriot Volleyball Hosts Senior Day; Women's Soccer and Cross Country Squads in Atlanta
The Francis Marion University women’s volleyball team will play host to a pair of Peach Belt Conference matches this weekend. FMU (10-22 overall record, 3-9 PBC) will entertain Lander University (13-16, 4-8) on Friday at 7 p.m. and then host USC Spartanburg (22-7, 9-3) on Senior Day, Saturday at 3 p.m. These are the final regular-season matches for FMU. The Peach Belt Tournament will begin Nov. 14 in Spartanburg.
Freshman Lezlie Logan leads FMU in kills (2.83 per game), while Kim Covil averages 2.32 kills and 2.77 digs per game. Covil, the team’s only senior, will be recognized prior to Saturday’s match. The three-year letterwinner enters this weekend with 698 kills, 668 digs, 151 total blocks, and 78 service aces in 272 career games (84 matches). The Patriots are still unbeaten (8-0) when winning the first game of a match.
The Francis Marion University women’s soccer team will face second-ranked and top-seeded Kennesaw State University in the semifinals of the Peach Belt Conference women’s soccer tournament, Friday at 2:30 p.m. KSU is serving as host for the semifinals and Saturday’s 2 p.m. championship match.
The FMU women are 11-6-1, while KSU is 18-1-0, including a 4-1 win over the Patriots on Oct. 4 in Florence. Kennesaw State defeated FMU in last year’s semifinals 3-0.
The Patriots own a 6-2 mark in four PBC Tournaments, including winning the 2001 title. However, Francis Marion is 0-4-0 all-time against the Lady Owls program, which is only in its second year.
Senior forward Katie Roberts leads the Patriots in scoring with 12 goals and seven assists. She needs only one goal to set a new PBC career mark (she has 47). She already owns the conference career marks for assists (35), and points (129). Sophomore Katie Riley is second on the squad in 2003 with 10 goals and six assists, but FMU will have to play without the services of junior forward Lauren Cunningham (8 goals, 6 assists), who will miss the match with an illness. Junior goalkeeper Jackie Bateman, owner of a 0.78 goals against average, will mind the net for FMU.
Second-seeded USC Spartanburg (12-5-1) meets third-seeded University of North Florida (11-7-1) in Friday’s first semifinal match at noon.
The FMU men’s and women’s cross country teams will compete in the NCAA Division II South Region Meet, Saturday in Atlanta. The races will be held on the Georgia State University Panthersville course at Georgia Regional Hospital. The men’s 10,000-meter race will begin at 9 a.m., followed by the women’s 6,000-meter race at 10 a.m. The Patriot men’s team will include Ryan Plexico, Ezekiel Koech, Steven Creek, Bobby Sears, and Graham Foster. The women are led by sophomore Nicole Hoeppner, who will be joined by senior Erin Flury, junior Lindsey Blackmon, and freshmen Megan Coy, Erica Woo, and Jenna Sexton. The top two teams and the top individual from each race (men’s and women’s) will advance to the Division II national championship meet, Nov. 22, in Raleigh, N.C.
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 9 of each of the men’s soccer, women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, and golf national polls.