22 Oct Volleyball Takes Down North Alabama for 10th Straight Win
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The FGCU volleyball team won its 10th straight match and improved to 9-0 in the ASUN with a straight-sets victory over North Alabama, Friday afternoon.
The Eagles (17-4, 9-0 ASUN) dominated the match, winning all three sets by double digits, 25-13, 25-15, 25-15.
“Great all around performance by the team today,” said head coach Matt Botsford. “While I thought we started out a little inconsistent from the service line, things picked up as the match went on from that end.”
The Eagles hit .403 for the match while holding the Lions (7-15, 1-8 ASUN) to a -.039 hitting percentage.
It was a balanced effort offensively for FGCU as graduate student Cortney VanLiew (Seymour, Ind./Columbus East HS), junior Erin Shomaker (Granville, Ohio/Granville HS), and freshman Skylar English (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS) each had seven kills to lead the team.
The seven kills for English came on just eight swings as she hit .875 for the match while also contributing with a match-high four service aces and three blocks.
“Skylar was phenomenal tonight and did it in all phases,” continued Botsford. “She seems to be finding a nice groove with her attacking on the backside, and she is improving as a blocker each week.”
Senior Chelsey Lockey (Eaton, Colo./Eaton HS) led the Eagles with 23 assists while senior Dana Axner (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman HS) collected a match-high 11 digs.
The Eagles started the match strong, winning the first four points the contest. They continued the strong play the entire set, which culminated with a 5-1 run to close out it out.
In the second set, the Lions kept it close early, but a 6-1 run gave the Eagles a 23-14 lead before clinching the set three points later.
The final set saw the Eagles use an early 8-2 run to take the lead, which they never gave up en route to winning 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.||1,553||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.||1,789||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.||3,038||Chelsey Lockey (341 sets)||2018-present|
|5.||1,809||Laura Monovill (186 sets)||2004-05|
The Eagles still have two more matches in Jacksonville this weekend. They will play Central Arkansas tomorrow at 12 p.m. before closing out the 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 173-56 (.755) record overall, including an 89-19 (.824) 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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