FLORENCE, S.C. – The Francis Marion University volleyball team will conclude its regular-season schedule this weekend, while the Patriot women’s basketball squad will begin its 2004-05 campaign with an exhibition contest.
The 19-12 volleyball team will be attempting to capture its first 20-win season since 1999 when the Patriots host USC Aiken (19-12) on Friday at 7 p.m. and Augusta State University (2-25) on Saturday at 3 p.m. Traditionally, Saturday’s match against ASU would be designated as Senior Day, but there are no seniors on this year’s FMU roster.
FMU is currently third in the Peach Belt Conference standings with an 8-4 mark. The Patriots need one more win to lock up the third seed for next week’s PBC Tournament in Savannah, Ga. The quarterfinals and semifinals are set for Nov. 12, with the championship match on Nov. 13. FMU was tabbed to finish tied for sixth place in the preseason PBC coaches’ poll.
The FMU women’s basketball team will take to the court for the first time when the Patriots play Fort Jackson in an exhibition game, Saturday at 6 p.m. in the Smith University Center. Admission is free.
Third-year head coach Valecia Tedder welcomes back six letterwinners, including three starters, from last season's 14-13 squad that placed third in the PBC’s North Division. Six of the team’s losses were by single digits and eight were to squads that advanced to the NCAA II Tournament. Senior starters Jennifer Howard, a second-team academic All-American last season, and Michelle Ghere head the returnees, along with junior All-Conference candidate Danielle Moore. Two red-shirt freshman, guard Brittany Young and swing player Creshenda Singletary, join a large class of five true freshmen, all of whom stand 5-10 or taller.
The FMU men’s basketball team will also be in action when the Patriots play an exhibition game at the University of Richmond, Friday at 7 p.m.
The game will be a homecoming for Patriot head coach John Schweitz, who starred for the Spiders between 1979 and 1982. FMU is led by 6-6 senior Louis McCullough (17.7 ppg, 7.8 rpg), but Schweitz must replace four starters from last year’s 27-4 squad that reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division II tournament. Richmond lost four seniors from last season’s 20-13 team that earned a bid to the Division I tournament.