VanLiew Makes History Again as Volleyball Sweeps Jacksonville, 3-0

VanLiew Makes History Again as Volleyball Sweeps Jacksonville, 3-0

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Fifth-year senior Cortney VanLiew (Seymour, Ind./Columbus East HS) put her name in another section of the FGCU volleyball record books on Friday night as the Eagles swept Jacksonville, 3-0 (25-17, 25-13, 25-18). The win improved FGCU to 12-4 overall (4-0 ASUN), while the Dolphins fell to 4-12 overall (1-3 ASUN).
VanLiew became the third player in program history to reach 1,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs joining fellow FGCU Hall of Famer Amanda Carroll (2015-19) and Olympian Brooke Youngquist Sweat (2004-07).
“This is another big milestone by one of our all-time greats. Cortney is such a well-rounded player and we saw it again tonight,” said head coach Matt Botsford. “She knows how to impact a match with the ability to do so on both the offensive and defensive end which is really quite an accomplishment.”
The victory extended the Eagles win streak to five matches overall as they go into a key early season ASUN match up with North Florida tomorrow night. The Ospreys are the only other undefeated team in league play at 4-0 with a 15-1 overall record.
“Tonight was an excellent outing from the whole squad, and most importantly, a consistent performance throughout. I thought our passers did a really nice job putting Chelsey in position to distribute effectively,” said Botsford. “I thought our team serving really helped our front line defense and we were able to build from there. Julianna and Erin each had stellar performances tonight, both making really good decisions on the offensive end and impacting things as blockers.”
In Friday’s win, VanLiew posted five kills, six digs, and two aces. She extended her program-record career kills total to 1,513. She also now has 1,003 career digs which ranks eighth-best in program history.
Overall, Erin Shomaker (Granville, Ohio/Granville HS) led all players with 12 kills (.417 hitting percentage) while adding seven digs and three blocks. Chelsey Lockey (Eaton, Colo./Eaton HS) had 25 assists to go with four kills and six digs. Aja Jones (Venice, Fla./Venice HS) and Juliana Lentz (Miami, Fla./St. Brendan HS) led the defense at the net with four blocks each with Lentz also adding six kills.
Jacksonville was led by Zoe LeBreche who had seven kills and Camryn Honn who had 24 assists.
The Eagles outhit the Dolphins .279-to-.022 for the match and held a 9-to-4 advantage in blocks.
The win was the 11th straight for the Green and Blue in the series including the 10th three-set sweep in that stretch.
FGCU opened set one taking a three-point lead, 4-1, with the match staying fairly close for much of the way. A three-point spurt late opened things up as the Eagles built out a 21-15 lead before scoring four of the next six points to start the night with a win.
An 8-to-2 run in the second set put FGCU up 13-6 midway through. An error by JU followed by kills from Jones and Shomaker extended the Eagles lead to 22-12 late before the Green and Blue closed out the match with three consecutive points punctuated by another Shomaker kill.
The third set saw the Dolphins take an early lead going up by as much as five, 12-7, before the Eagles began to claw back. A four-point FGCU run tied the match 13-13, while a second four-point run put the Eagles up 18-15. FGCU never trailed after that and closed out the set scoring six of the final seven points.
Most Career Kills

1.  1,513   Cortney VanLiew (.230)  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.  1,711  Dana Axner (334 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

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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 168-56 (.751) record overall, including an 84-19 (.814) 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.



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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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