Lentz’s Career-High Powers Volleyball Past Florida A&M, 3-0

Lentz’s Career-High Powers Volleyball Past Florida A&M, 3-0

FORT MYERS, Fla. – In one of the closest matches of the year, it was sophomore Juliana Lentz’s (Miami, Fla./St. Brendan HS) career-high 18 kills that proved the difference maker as the FGCU volleyball team (5-0) defeated Florida A&M (3-3) in three sets (25-22, 25-22, 25-19) to start day two of the Hilton Garden Inn FGCU Classic at Alico Arena. The 18 kills for Lentz tied as the ninth-best single game performance for a three-set match in FGCU history.
With another perfect sweep, the Green and Blue also extended their program record with five straight three-set wins to start the year. The five-match win streak is also the second-best start to a campaign just behind a 6-0 start in 2019. Overall, the program posted a 6-0 start in its first season (2004) and went 4-0 to begin 2005.
The Eagles will return to action at 7 PM on Saturday night against for ASUN foe USC Upstate to close out the tournament. Tickets are available at the Alico Arena Ticket Office and the game will be a Blue Out.
The nip-and-tuck match featured 21 ties and nine score changes. The six-point margin of victory in the third set marked the largest lead of the day for either team. The first set of the day was tied 11 times throughout with four lead changes.
Lentz had six kills in the first set, seven in the second, and five in the third – two of which came in the latter stage as FGCU began to pull away for the win. Her previous high was 10 set earlier this season against Rutgers. The sophomore is now hitting .473 for the year with 49 kills and just six attack errors for the Eagles.
Junior Erin Shomaker (Granville, Ohio/Granville HS) also had double-figure kills for FGCU with 11 on the day, while freshman Skylar English (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS) had seven. Senior Chelsey Lockey (Eaton, Colo./Eaton HS)  had 37 assists, while senior Dana Axner (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman HS) had 15 digs to lead the Eagles.
FAMU was led by 17 kills by Dominique Washington, while Irem Ucar had 32 assists and Jessa Long had 11 digs.
Overall, FGCU hit .302 for the match compared to .151 for the Rattlers. Both teams had a total of 106 attacks with the Eagles committing just 13 errors and FAMU having 24.
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Matt Botsford is entering 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 162-53 (.748) record overall, including an 81-19 (.810) 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 five of the past six 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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