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PREVIEW: Tars Ready to Open Sunshine State Conference Play at Home

PREVIEW: Tars Ready to Open Sunshine State Conference Play at Home

Rollins Hosts Embry-Riddle and Florida Tech in Weekend Series


SCHEDULE:
Friday, September 7
vs. Embry-Riddle | 7:00 p.m. | Warden Arena in the Alfond Sports Center | Winter Park, Fla.

Saturday, September 8
vs. Florida Tech | 4:00 p.m. | Warden Arena in the Alfond Sports Center | Winter Park, Fla.

RANKINGS:
AVCA Division II Coaches Poll Top 25: Week 2 | September 8, 2018 

SSC STANDINGS:
2018 Sunshine State Conference Volleyball Standings 

LIVE COVERAGE:
Friday Live Coverage:  Live Stats | Tars Sports Network
Saturday Live Coverage: Live Stats | Tars Sports Network 

DIGITAL PROGRAM:
RollinsSports.com/GameDay

SET UP:
The Rollins volleyball team is set to open the Sunshine State Conference portion of their schedule, beginning with a 7 p.m. match-up against Embry-Riddle in Warden Arena on Friday night, and following with a 4 p.m. showdown against Florida Tech the following day.  Live coverage of both matches is available with live stats on TarsStats.com, free live HD video broadcasts on the Tars Sports Network, as well as with digital game programs available at RollinsSports.com/GameDay.

WHO TO WATCH:
Rollins:
Entering into the weekend slate with a record of 2-5 overall, the Rollins volleyball team looks to open its conference schedule against Embry-Riddle on Friday evening in Warden Arena.  The Tars are currently led by senior Rachel Fletcher who has earned 56 kills so far this season, averaging 2.24 per set.  Sophomore Leslie Seda has earned 39 kills, followed by senior Sam Schlesman with 37, and Candace Doxey and Kerra Tirado with 35 each.  Freshman Rebecca Kuehn and sophomore Sarah Konemann have split duties as setter, with Kuehn earning 99 assists while Konemann has dished out 87.  Fletcher has earned a team best eight service aces so far this year, followed closely by Seda with seven. Defensively, the Tars are led in digs by freshman Jessika Linnemeyer, who averages 3.80 per set, followed by 75 from Seda and 72 from Fletcher.  Putting up a team best 25 total blocks is Tirado, who has earned one solo bock and 24 assisted stops.  Both Doxey and Schlesman have earned 22, while Seda has put up 10 of her own.

Embry-Riddle:
Picked to finish sixth on the 2018 Sunshine State Conference Preseason Poll, the Embry-Riddle Eagles kicked off their current season with a record of 6-1 after their first two weeks of regular season action.  The Eagles opened up with back-to-back sweeps against Wilmington and Shaw on Friday, August 24, as well as Valdosta State on Saturday, August 25.  Embry-Riddle then closed out their opening weekend with a 3-0 loss to Wayne State, who received votes on the AVCA DII Preseason Poll at the time of competition.  The following weekend, ERAU picked up three straight wins at the Bahama House Labor Day Classic, defeating Flagler, Bentley, and Oklahoma Baptist.  After seven matches played, the Eagles are led by Erika Barbour with 84 kills, followed by Melanie Canfield with 69 and McKenna James with 61.  Alyssa Rudd holds onto the role of primary setter for the squad, and has dished out 254 assists so far this season, for an average of 11.55 assists per set.  Two Eagles lead the way in service aces, with Theresa Jordan earning 11, and Olivia Roa amassing 10 so far this season.  Defensively, Roa leads the team in digs with 145, averaging 6.59 per set.  Jordan has dug out 63, while Rudd has earned 56.  Sam Lanning has put up a team best 35 blocks, including 32 assisted and three solo blocks, while Jordan, Barbour, and James has earned 17, 16, and 15, respectively.  James currently leads the Sunshine State Conference in hitting percentage (.520), while Barbour is 12th in the conference in overall kills (84).  Rudd is sixth in the SSC in assists (254), while Jordan is tied for 5th in aces (11).  Lanning is second in the conference in overall blocks (35), and sixth in solo blocks (3).

Florida Tech:
Entering into the weekend with an overall record of 3-5, the Florida Tech Panthers will square up against No. 20 Tampa on Friday night before making the trip to Warden Arena on Saturday afternoon.  The Panthers opened their 2018 campaign at the Spring Hill Suites Pioneer Invitational, where they opened up with a 3-0 (21-25, 17-25, 26-28) loss to St. Edward's, followed by a 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-20) victory over Southwestern Oklahoma State on Friday, August 24.  FIT closed out their opening weekend action with back-to-back losses on Day Two of the invitational with a 3-1 (13-25, 16-25, 25-22, 19-25) loss to Northwood University, and a 3-0 (13-25, 21-15, 17-25) defeat at the hands of Texas Woman's University.  Florida Tech returned to the Sunshine State for their fifth match of the season, squaring up against Wilmington in Warden Arena on August 31 in the Rollins Invitational where they fell to the Wildcats in a five-setter (25-19, 25-15, 19-25, 18-25, 13-15). Most recently, the Panthers partook in the ERAU Labor Day Tournament where they went 2-1 on the weekend with 3-1 victories over McKendree University and Oklahoma Baptist, along with a 3-0 loss to Bentley.  Florida Tech is led by Kelly Germain with 96 kills in 29 sets played, averaging 3.31 kills per set.  Olivia Hersey and Heather Bowersox have tallied 59 and 54 kills, respectively.  Kiersten Rosa acts as the Panthers' primary setter, and has amassed 238 assists with an average of 8.21 per set.  Becca Bower holds onto a team best eight service aces, followed by seven from Sheila Villagrasa.  Defensively, Kyra Atkinson leads the team with 115 digs, followed by 107 from Bower and 103 from Villagrasa.  Hersey has put up a team best 20 blocks so far this season, including 19 assisted and one solo, while Maddalena Fairchild as earned 15, and Kiersten Rosa and Heather Bowersox hav earned 12 apiece.  Both Fairchild and Bowersox have a team best two solo blocks apiece.

NOTES:

  • The Tars trail the series with the Eagles, 5-11. The last time the two teams met on the court was on October 31, 2017, where Rollins fell to ERAU by a score of 3-0 (22-25, 20-25, 18-25).
  • In the last 12 seasons, the Tars hold onto a 17-7 advantage over the Panthers.  The last time out, Rollins fell by a final score of 3-0 (19-25, 15-25, 19-25) on Tuesday, October 24, on FIT's home court in the Clemente Center. 

NEXT:Rollins takes to the road for their next match, traveling west down I-4 to Tampa to take on the Spartans in a Tuesday night clash.  Game time against the University of Tampa is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 11.  Fans who are unable to support the Tars in person can follow all of the action live with live stats on TarsStats.com, as well as with a live broadcast on the Tars Sports Network.

Fans can follow Tars volleyball all season long with live audio and video on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com, where the latest news, updates, and information on the Rollins volleyball team can also be accessed. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest #TARnation news by following Rollins Sports on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.