Final Road Series on Tap as Volleyball Heads to Liberty, Kennesaw State

Final Road Series on Tap as Volleyball Heads to Liberty, Kennesaw State

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The final road series of the regular-season is on tap as the FGCU volleyball team heads to Liberty on Friday night (6 PM) and Kennesaw State on Sunday afternoon (1 PM). The Eagles enter the weekend 21-4 overall and 13-0 in ASUN play while riding the nation’s fourth-longest win streak at 14 matches.

 

The 13-0 start is the second-best beginning to league play in program history. A win on Friday night would tie the 2012 squad’s 14-0 start.

 

As the regular-season comes down to the penultimate weekend, FGCU continues to lead the ASUN overall as the only team unbeaten in league play. The Eagles have clinched a berth in the upcoming ASUN Championship Tournament which will be hosted at Alico Arena. The Green and Blue sit three wins ahead of second-place North Florida in the East Division, while Jacksonville State leads the West Division.

 

Last weekend, the Eagles earned a pair of home wins over North Florida and Jacksonville. Erin Shomaker (Granville, Ohio/Granville HS) earned ASUN Player of the Week honors for the third time this season after she notched 26 kills, 20 digs, and three blocks through the two matches.

 

In the earlier meeting this month against Liberty and Kennesaw State, both at Alico Arena, FGCU won each by a score of 3-0.

 

Shomaker continues to lead the Eagles this season with 297 kills including a league-best 4.40 per set. Aja Jones (Venice, Fla./Venice HS) leads the net defense with 95 blocks while adding 155 kills. Dana Axner (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman HS) leads the defense with 381 total digs through 80 sets. Chelsey Lockey (Eaton, Colo./Eaton HS) continues to direct the offense with 837 assists.

 

Nationally, the Eagles rank sixth in opponent hitting percentage (0.130), 11th in blocks per set (2.77), and 26th in hitting percentage (0.267).

 

All-time, the Eagles are 18-12 in the series with Kennesaw State. Liberty and FGCU have met just six times with the Eagles holding a 5-1 record in the series.

 

Liberty has won three of its last five matches though the Flames fell in five sets against Kennesaw State last Friday night. The Owls have won seven straight since the loss to FGCU four weeks ago to jump up to third in the East Division and secure a spot in the tournament. KSU will take on Stetson on Friday night before facing the Eagles.

ASUN Leaders (Top 10)

Kills/Set – Shomaker (1st, 3.76)

Hitting Percentage – Lentz (2nd, .393), Aja Jones (5th, .310)

Assists/Set – Lockey (2nd, 10.46)

Aces – Shomaker (8th, 26)

Digs/Set – Axner (2nd, 4.76)

Blocks/Set – Lentz (1st, 1.25), Jones (3rd, 1.22)

Points/Set – Shomaker (1st, 4.40)

 

Most Career Kills








1.  1,584   Cortney VanLiew (.227)  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.  1,849  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.  3,203  Chelsey Lockey (347 sets)  2018-present
4.  3,108  Chandra Lefever (309 sets)  2006-09
5.  1,809  Laura Monovill (186 sets)  2004-05

 

For complete coverage of the volleyball program, follow the Eagles on Twitter at @FGCU_VB, on Instagram at @FGCU_VB, on Facebook at /FGCUVolleyball and online at FGCUathletics.com. You can also sign-up to have news on FGCU volleyball or other programs delivered directly to your inbox by visiting www.fgcuathletics.com/email.

 

E.A.G.L.E. CAMPAIGN

IT TAKES A TEAM to achieve our newest goal – a $10 million campaign to address student-athlete needs in continued academic success, life skills, mental health, nutrition, and strength and conditioning as well as departmental needs in facility expansion and improvement as well as mentoring and leadership training for coaches and staff. The name embodies our mission and the purpose of the E.A.G.L.E. Campaign – Eagle Athletics Generating Lifetime Excellence. Join Our Team and pledge your gift today to help the Eagles of tomorrow!

COACH BOTSFORD

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 177-56 (.759) record overall, including a 93-19 (.828) 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.

 

#FEEDFGCU

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.

 

ABOUT FGCU

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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