25 Oct Volleyball Takes Down ASUN West Division Leader Jacksonville State 3-0
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Five players posted double-figure kills and Chelsey Lockey (Eaton, Colo./Eaton HS) moved into third all-time in program history for career assists as the FGCU volleyball team took down the ASUN West Division leader Jacksonville State, 3-0 (25-22, 29-27, 25-20), on Sunday night at Jacksonville’s Swisher Gymnasium. The Eagles won their 12 consecutive match to improve to 19-4 overall and 11-0 in ASUN play, while the Gamecocks fell to 19-5 overall and 9-2 in league play.
“That was a high quality match against a very good team and I couldn’t be prouder with how our team executed. That was the cleanest match we have put together from start to finish and we got big contributions from absolutely every player out on that court,” said head coach Matt Botsford. “To have five players with double digit kills in three sets says it all. The distribution was excellent from Chelsey and our serve receive group was efficient all night in helping her do her job.”
Lockey had 44 assists in the match which gives her 3,128 for her career. That moved her into third all-time in program history as she passed Chandra Lefever who had 3,108 from 2006-09. For the crossover weekend, Lockey had 113 assists over the three matches.
Along with the balanced offense on Sunday where the Eagles hit .393 overall for the match, FGCU held an 11-to-6 advantage in blocks.
Aja Jones (Venice, Fla./Venice HS) led the Eagles with 11 kills, four blocks and four digs. Cortney VanLiew (Seymour, Ind./Columbus East HS), Erin Shomaker (Granville, Ohio/Granville HS), Juliana Lentz (Miami, Fla./St. Brendan HS), and Skylar English (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS) each had 10 kills. English and Dana Axner (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman HS) had a team-high eight digs as part of a balanced effort on the back row. Lentz had six blocks to lead the net defense followed by Jones and four blocks from Lockey.
JSU’s Addie Halverson led all players with 12 kills, while Lena Kindermann had 11 kills. Zoe Gonzales rounded out the offensive leaders with 10 kills. Lexie Libs directed the offense with 42 assists and Erin Carmichael led the defense with 11 digs.
In the first set, an early five point run by FGCU gave the Eagles an 11-3 lead. JSU would chip away through the match to pull within one, 19-18, but a kill by Lentz followed by a Gamecock error extended the lead back to three. The two teams traded points from there before a kill by VanLiew sealed the opening set win.
Another five-point run in the second match pulled FGCU ahead of JSU after the Gamecocks jumped out to an early lead. Kills by Jones and Lentz along with three attack errors by JSU gave the Eagles a 10-7 lead. The teams traded points from there until JSU pulled ahead 24-23 on a pair of kills by Gonzales. VanLiew responded with back-to-back kills, but Halvorson tied the match at 25 each after FGCU took a one-point lead. JSU scored two of the next three to go up 27-26, but the Eagles closed the match with three straight points thanks to a Shomaker kill and a pair of Gamecock errors.
Both teams traded runs in the third set until FGCU again scored five straight with two Shomaker kills and one by English. After another Shomaker kill made it 24-17, JSU scored three straight before a Lentz kill finished off the night.
The 54 kills for FGCU marked a three-set season-best for the Eagles. Having started ASUN play at 11-0, the Green and Blue have put together then second-best start to league play in program history. On the 2012 start of 14-0 has been better.
After playing on the road, FGCU will return home next weekend to host North Florida on Friday (6 PM) and Jacksonville (6 PM) at Alico Arena.
Most Career Kills
|1.||1,570||Cortney VanLiew (.229)||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.||1,818||Dana Axner (351 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.||3,128||Chelsey Lockey (344 sets)||2018-present|
|4.||3,108||Chandra Lefever (309 sets)||2006-09|
|5.||1,809||Laura Monovill (186 sets)||2004-05|
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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 175-56 (.757) record overall, including a 91-19 (.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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