Volleyball Opens ASUN Tournament Play Thursday Night Against Liberty

Volleyball Opens ASUN Tournament Play Thursday Night Against Liberty

FORT MYERS, Fla. – After a regular season that saw the FGCU volleyball team go 23-5 overall and 15-1 in conference play, the Eagles officially begin postseason play on Thursday as the ASUN Championship Tournament begins in Alico Arena. FGCU will play host to the entire tournament which features four quarterfinal matches on Thursday, the semifinals on Friday, and the championship match on Saturday night.
Tickets can be purchase online at www.FGCUTickets.com, by calling 866-FGCU-TIX, or at the Alico Arena Ticket Office. Tickets are good for all matches on each day and are $8 for adults, $6 for military members, and $6 for youth.

A matchup between #2E Kennesaw State and #3W Eastern Kentucky gets the action started at 10 AM followed by #1W Jacksonville State meeting #4E Stetson at 1 PM. The first serve for #2W Lipscomb and #3E North Florida comes at 4 PM, while Thursday’s final quarterfinal contest between #1E FGCU and #5E Liberty begins at 7 PM.


The Championship Semifinals take place on Friday, Nov. 19 (4 & 7 PM) followed by the Championship Final on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 7 PM. All of the tournament’s matches are scheduled to be broadcast live on ESPN+.


The Eagles have advanced to the championship match five consecutive seasons, which includes winning it all in 2018 and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Overall, FGCU has made the final six times in 11 all-time appearances, which includes at least in a semifinal appearance every year and a 13-10 all-time record.


FGCU defeated Liberty twice this season, 3-0 in each, both at home and one the road. All-time against the Flames, the Eagles are 6-1 including a 3-0 mark in Alico Arena. The teams have played once in the ASUN Tournament, a 3-0 win for FGCU in the 2018 semifinals.


Last season, FGCU defeated Jacksonville and Kennesaw State in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively, before falling in five sets to Lipscomb in the championship match.


Earlier on Thursday, the Eagles saw five student-athletes earn all-conference honors highlighted by Erin Shomaker being named the ASUN Player of the Year for the second straight season. Head coach Matt Botsford was named the ASUN Coach of the Year for the third time as well.


Shomaker was named to the All-ASUN First Team alongside Chelsey Lockey, while Dana Axner and Juliana Lentz were selected to the second team. Skylar English was picked to the ASUN All-Freshman Team. Both Axner and Shomaker were honorees on the All-Academic Team as well to round out the accolades.


FGCU enters the tournament having won 16 of their last 17 matches with the only blemish in league play coming in a road loss at Kennesaw State. The Eagles have been bolstered by their defensive play with the Green and Blue ranking fifth nationally in opponent hitting percentage (.128) and eighth in blocks per set (2.76). That has helped translate to a .270 hitting percentage which ranks 23rd nationally. The Eagles lead the ASUN in all three categories.


Most Career Kills

1.  1,609  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.  1,884  Dana Axner (367 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.  3,312  Chelsey Lockey (350 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.



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!


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 180-58 (.759) record overall, including a 96-20 (.827) 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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