23 Oct Volleyball Improves to 10-0 in ASUN with Sweep of Central Arkansas
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The FGCU volleyball team improved to 10-0 in the ASUN, Saturday afternoon with a sweep (25-21, 25-17, 25-22) of Central Arkansas (4-15, 2-8 ASUN). The win is also the 11th straight overall for the Eagles as they improve to 18-4 on the season.
“I thought our passers were outstanding today and I’m really pleased with the overall level of consistency the team showed throughout the match,” said head coach Matt Botsford. “Aja [Jones] had a big match for us and was doing it on both offense and defense. Those are impressive numbers and her impact out there was key in some real big moments. Dana [Axner] was excellent with her reads and positioning today, which really kicks off our transition offense. I thought that between passing and defense, that was one of her top performances of the season.”
FGCU collected 50 kills, a season-high for a three set match, and hit .299, while holding Central Arkansas to .167 with 34 kills and 15 errors.
Junior Erin Shomaker (Granville, Ohio/Granville HS) led the Eagles with 15 kills while junior Aja Jones (Venice, Fla./Venice HS) racked up 14 kills. Senior Chelsey Lockey (Eaton, Colo./Eaton HS) led the Eagles with 46 assists, also a season-high this season for a three-set match.
Defensively, senior Dana Axner (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman HS) collected 21 digs while Jones led the FGCU with six blocks.
The first set was a battle as the Bears held a 17-16 lead late in the set, but a 3-0 run by the Eagles gave FGCU a lead they did not give up, eventually clinching the set with another 3-0 run, which included two kills by Shomaker.
The Eagles took control of the second set early, jumping out to a 10-4 lead. They held a comfortable lead the rest of the way, taking the set, 25-17.
The third set was the most efficient of the day for the Eagles, but Central Arkansas kept it close and eventually took a 16-13 lead. After an FGCU timeout, the Eagles won three straight points to tie the set at 16. The two teams traded points, but with the score tied at 21, the Eagles won four of the next five points to clinch the set and the match.
ASUN Leaders (Top 10)
Kills/Set – Shomaker (1st, 3.73)
Hitting Percentage – Lentz (2nd, .385)
Assists/Set – Lockey (3rd, 10.03)
Aces – Shomaker (8th, 24)
Digs/Set – Axner (1st, 4.79)
Blocks/Set – Lentz (2nd, 1.27), Jones (6th, 1.14)
Points/Set – Shomaker (1st, 4.40)
Most Career Kills
|1.||1,560||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.||1,810||Dana Axner (348 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.||3,108||Chandra Lefever (309 sets)||2006-09|
|4.||3,084||Chelsey Lockey (341 sets)||2018-present|
|5.||1,809||Laura Monovill (186 sets)||2004-05|
The Eagles still have one more match in Jacksonville as they will close out the crossover weekend with Jacksonville State on Sunday at 6 p.m.
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.
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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 174-56 (.757) record overall, including an 90-19 (.826) 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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