Volleyball begins a three-game stretch in central Arkansas and northern Alabama this weekend


FORT MYERS, Florida. – FGCU Volleyball begins a three-game ASUN road streak with battles against Central Arkansas and Northern Alabama this weekend.

FGCU is scheduled to face UCA on Friday at 7 p.m. and North Alabama on Sunday at 2 p.m. Both games will be broadcast on ESPN+.

Accompanied by a three-game winning streak, the Greens and Blue enter the weekend’s list 13-4 on aggregate and 3-1 in the league for second place in ASUN. UCA is 12-7 on the year and is tied for fourth in the ASUN standings at 4-2. UCA has also won five in a row. North Alabama holds a 12-6 record and is 10th in conference action at 2-4.

The Eagles are 1-1 against UCA and 5-0 against North Alabama. Last season, the Eagles swept the Bears and Lions.

Ninth-year head coach Matt Botsford is one win away from earning his 100th career ASUN victory.

ASUN’S HONOR IN DUEL

The Greens and Blues belong Erin Shomaker was also named ASUN Player of the Week for the second time this season for her dominating performances against Lipscomb and Austin Peay.

The Granville, Ohio native recorded 47 combined wins in the two displaced ASUN wins. In a 3-1 win over Lipscomb, Shomaker was virtually unstoppable. She shot a career-high 29 eliminations and broke FGCU’s record for the most eliminations ever in a four-set match. In an Austin Peay sweep, Shomaker moved up to fourth all-time in career FGCU wins (1,136).

UCA also picked up two ASUN Weekly Awards this week. Freshman setter Caylan Koons was named ASUN Freshman of the Week, while freshman Libero Alexis McDaniel earned ASUN Defensive Player of the Week honors.

A CLOSER LOOK AT THE EAGLES

Shomaker currently ranks second in ASUN in total casualties (248) despite playing two fewer games due to Hurricane Ian postponements. His 4.13 kills per set also rank second in the conference and 32nd nationally.

Lily markers (Knoxville, TN) and Lawrence Clark (Chamlin, Minn.) coach Shomaker and each produced more than 125 kills during the season.

Fifth-year senior passer Chelsey Lockey (Eaton Colo.) leads the Eagles offense and is 27th nationally in assists per set (10.60). She registered 636 assists on the year with seven outings of 40 or more. Lockey also added eight double-doubles to his resume this season. Lockey also beats the Eagles with 24 aces. For her career, she is 15th among all active Division I players in career assists (4,120).

Libero and defensive specialist Dana Axener (Dublin, Ohio) has a team-leading 254 digs, including three 20-plus games. Her 2022 dig total ranks ninth in ASUN and she’s fifth among all active Division I players. in quarry excavations (2,212).

net, Juliana Lentz (Miami, Fla.) leads all Eagles with 35 total blocks. Lockey and Clark both participated with 29.

NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT

As a team this season, FGCU set the tone from the service line. In fact, the FGCU ranks ninth nationally in aces per set (1.97). The Eagles also rank in the top 50 nationally in hitting percentage (.248), opponent hitting percentage (.177) and assists per set (12.63).

In ASUN, the FGCU ranks first in assists per set and service aces per set, second overall in hit percentage.

RISING EAGLES









Square. Name (year) FGCU career kills
1. Cortney VanLiew (2017-21) 1,657
2. Amanda Carroll (2015-19) 1,483
3. Brooke Youngquist (2004-07) 1,173
4. Erin Shomaker (2019- 1,136
5. Olivia Mesner (2011-14) 1,132









Square. Name (University and Years) ASUN Career Searches
1. Shelley Walroth (Jacksonville: 2006-09) 2,456
2. Dana Axener (FGCU: 2018- 2,212
3.Ann Mullins (Lipscomb: 2005-07) 1,969
4. Nicole Baran (North Florida: 2009-12) 1,900
5. Adriana Nieto (NJIT: 2015-18) 1,878









Square. Name (year) FGCU Career Aid
1. Maggie Rick (2015-18) 4,540
2.Gigi Meyer (2011-14) 4,408
3. Chelsey Lockey (2018- 4,120
4.Chandra Lefever (2006-07, 09) 3,108
5. Laura Manovill (2004-05) 1,809

For full coverage of the volleyball schedule, follow the Eagles on Twitter at @FGCU_VBon Instagram at @FGCU_VBon Facebook at /FGCUVolleyball and online at FGCUathletics.com. You can also sign up to receive news about FGCU volleyball or other programs straight to your inbox by visiting www.fgcuathletics.com/email.

EAGLE CAMPAIGN
IT TAKES A TEAM to achieve our new goal – a $10 million campaign to address the needs of student-athletes for continued academic success, life skills, mental health, nutrition, strength and conditioning, as well as the department’s needs for facility expansion and improvements as well as mentorship and leadership training for coaches and staff. The name embodies our mission and the goal of the EAGLE – Eagle Athletics Generating Lifetime Excellence campaign. Join our team and commit your donation today to help the Eagles of tomorrow!

BOTSFORD COACH

Matt Botsford completed his eighth season as the head coach of the FGCU women’s volleyball program in 2021 after being hired on February 10, 2014. During his tenure, Botsford-led teams compiled an overall record of 196- 63 (.757), including a 99- 21 (.825) record in ASUN reading. Including last year’s unprecedented spring season, he has taken the program to heights it has never seen in the Division I era (2007-present) – recording at least 20 wins over six of the past seven seasons and at least 10 conference wins. 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 second-place finish in the ASUN regular season, and the next two saw the Eagles advance to the tournament championship. Now the team has won four straight regular season titles, including two ASUN Tournament Championship titles. On September 10, 2016, Botsford led his team to a five-set victory over Indiana at Alico Arena, which marked the program’s first-ever victory against a team from a Power-5 conference. In 2018 he also led the team to a win over Miami, Florida – the Power 5 program’s first-ever road win, and the Eagles followed that up with a straight-sets win over the Hurricanes at a neutral site in 2019. In 2021, Botsford led the Eagles to 27 wins, tying the program record previously set in the 2016, 2018 and 2019 seasons, and an NCAA First Round win over Texas Tech. The victory over the Red Raiders marked the second NCAA first-round victory for the Greens and Blues following their 3-2 victory over No. 13 UCF in Orlando in 2018.

#FEEDFGCU
FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCU’s Charities of Choice Athletics. For more information, including how to contribute, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and use the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.

ABOUT THE FGCU
FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 92 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 15 seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just 11 seasons of DI playoff eligibility, the Eagles brought together 45 teams or individuals competing in NCAA championships. In 2022, the men’s golf team became the first program to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. Eight FGCU programs ranked in the top 25 nationally in their respective sports, including women’s basketball (#20, 2021-22), beach volleyball (#20, 2022) and men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s football. (2018) as four of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Vert et Bleu posted the department’s best sixth place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top 100 nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and Florida State’s top seven teams won the NCAA Public Recognition Award for their rate of academic progression in their sport. FGCU also collectively achieved a record 3.50 classroom GPA in the fall 2020 semester and outperformed the general undergraduate college population for 26 consecutive semesters. The last five semesters (Fall 2019 – Spring 2022) saw another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a cumulative team average of 3.0 or higher. The Eagles also served an all-time high of 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two finalists for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.

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