12 Nov Eagles to Host Stetson on Senior Night to Conclude Regular Season
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The 2021-22 regular season comes to a close for the Eagles, Saturday night when they host Stetson. First serve form Alico Arena is set for 6 p.m.
It is also senior night for the Eagles meaning the team will honor Snowy Burnam (Palm City, Fla. / Jensen Beach HS) and Cortney VanLiew (Seymour, Ind. / Columbus East HS) in a pre-match ceremony.
The Eagles look to head into the ASUN Tournament on a high note after dropping their previous match to Kennesaw State, their first loss in the ASUN this season after starting 14-0, which matched the best start in program history.
FGCU has already clinched the top-seed in the East Division and the right to host the 2021 ASUN Tournament. The Green and Blue sit two wins ahead of second-place North Florida and Kennesaw State in the East Division, while Jacksonville State leads the West Division.
Before falling to Kennesaw State last Saturday, the Eagles defeated Liberty, 3-0, in Lynchburg to pick up their 14th win in the ASUN and their 15th straight overall. Junior Erin Shomaker (Granville, Ohio/Granville HS) led the Eagles with 15 kills in the victory.
In an earlier meeting between FGCU and Stetson in Deland, the Eagles took down the Hatters in straight sets.
Shomaker continues to lead the Eagles this season with 331 kills including a league-best 3.85 per set. Aja Jones (Venice, Fla./Venice HS) leads the net defense with 104 blocks while adding 165 kills. Dana Axner (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman HS) leads the defense with 394 total digs through 87 sets. Chelsey Lockey (Eaton, Colo./Eaton HS) continues to direct the offense with 902 assists.
Nationally, the Eagles rank third in opponent hitting percentage (0.130), 6th in blocks per set (2.76), and 19th in hitting percentage (0.269).
All-time, the Eagles are 28-2 in the series with Stetson and have won 18 in a row against the Hatters.
Stetson is coming off a five-set win at Liberty on Sunday. They currently sit at 8-7 in the ASUN and clinched the four-seed in next weeks ASUN Tournament. They will play the #1 seed from the west division, Jacksonville State, in the first round.
ASUN Leaders (Top 10)
Kills/Set – Erin Shomaker (1st, 3.85)
Hitting Percentage – Juliana Lentz (2nd, .393), Aja Jones (5th, .315)
Assists/Set – Chelsey Lockey (2nd, 10.37)
Aces – Skylar English (8th, 29)
Digs/Set – Dana Axner (2nd, 4.53)
Blocks/Set – Lentz (1st, 1.25), Jones (3rd, 1.21)
Points/Set – Shomaker (1st, 4.50)
Most Career Kills
|1.||1,594||Cortney VanLiew (.226)||2017-present|
|2.||1,483||Amanda Carroll (.259)||2015-19|
|3.||1,173||Brooke Youngquist Sweat (.245)||2004-07|
|4.||1,132||Olivia Mesner (.331)||2011-14|
|5.||961||Jessica Barnes (.194)||2010-14|
Most Career Digs
|1.||1,965||Whitney Hendry (390 sets)||2004-07|
|2.||1,862||Dana Axner (364 sets)||2018-present|
|3.||1,687||Whitney Masters (483 sets)||2011-14|
|4.||1,652||Holly Youngquist (418 sets)||2008-11|
|5.||1,369||Brook Youngquist Sweat (346 sets)||2004-07|
Most Career Assists
|1.||4,540||Maggie Rick (467 sets)||2015-18|
|2.||4,408||Gigi Myer (474 sets)||2011-14|
|3.||3,268||Chelsey Lockey (347 sets)||2018-present|
|4.||3,108||Chandra Lefever (309 sets)||2006-09|
|5.||1,809||Laura Monovill (186 sets)||2004-05|
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Matt Botsford is in his eighth season as head coach of the FGCU women’s volleyball program in 2021 after being hired on Feb. 10, 2014. In his tenure, Botsford-led teams have compiled a 178-57 (.757) record overall, including a 94-20 (.825) record in ASUN play. Including this past year’s unprecedented spring season, he has taken the program to heights it has not seen in the Division-I era (2007-present) – registering at least 20 wins overall in six of the past seven seasons and at least 10 wins in conference play every season. In 2018, he led the program to its first regular season championship since 2012 (fourth overall) and its first-ever ASUN tournament title, NCAA tournament appearance, NCAA tournament win and victory over a ranked team. His first two campaigns resulted in ASUN regular season runner-up finishes, and the following two saw the Eagles advance to the tournament championship and now the team has won three straight regular season titles, including a division title and ASUN tournament runner-up finish in the spring 2021 season. On Sept. 10, 2016, Botsford led his team to a five-set win over Indiana in Alico Arena, which signified the program’s first-ever win over a team from a Power-5 conference. In 2018, he led the team to a win over Miami (Fla.) – the program’s first-ever road Power 5 win, and the Eagles followed that up with a straight-set win over the Hurricanes at a neutral site in 2019.
FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCU Athletics’ charities of choice. For more information, including how to make a contribution, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and utilize the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.
FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 85 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of D-I postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had a combined 42 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have earned a top-25 national ranking in their respective sport – including women’s basketball (No. 21, 2020-21), beach volleyball (No. 20, 2021) and both men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s soccer (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Green and Blue posted a department-best sixth-place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top-100 showing nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and state of Florida best seven teams earn the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their Academic Progress Rate in their sport. FGCU also collectively earned a record 3.50 GPA in the classroom in the fall 2020 semester and has outperformed the general University undergraduate population for 24 consecutive semesters. The 2019 Fall, 2020 Spring, 2020 Fall, and 2021 Spring semesters each saw another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a 3.0-or-higher team GPA in each. The Eagles also served an all-time high 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two runners-up for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.
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