FORT MYERS, Fla. – After 13 lives from both Cortney VanLiew and Erin Shomaker, the FGCU volleyball team overcame North Florida 3-0 (25-18, 25-13, 25-16), in the semifinals of the ASUN Championship Tournament Friday night at Alico Arena. The Eagles (May 25) will play Jacksonville State (June 25) for an automatic spot on tomorrow night’s NCAA Tournament in the 7 p.m. championship game.
Tickets for Saturday night’s title match can be purchased online at www.FGCUTickets.com or at the Alico Arena Box Office. Fans can also call 866-FGCU-TIX to pre-order. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for military personnel, and $6 for youth.
The Eagles are having their sixth consecutive appearance in the ASUN title match. The pre-season league favorites are looking for a second championship title since winning it all in 2018.
In Friday’s semi-final win over North Florida (July 24), third seed of the East Division, FGCU had perhaps the best overall performance of the season. The Eagles, East Division’s top seed, posted 22NS Winning three sets of the season was partly down to VanLiew and Shomaker’s stellar play.
“It was a great performance from all the players who came out and found a way to give it,” said the head coach. Matt Botsford. “I thought defending, against a great team like UNF, was probably our best performance of the year when you consider the caliber of attackers across the net. Overall, I’m really impressed. the satisfaction of getting through tonight and getting back to the match championship.”
Shomaker scored her fifth double of the season with her 11 digs and 13 kills. VanLiew hit 0.462 for the match with 13 lives and just one attack error while adding five diggings and two aces. Between, Aja Jones and Emma Szypszak adding up for seven blocks as part of a defensive effort puts Ospreys at just 0.37 for the match. Jones adds seven lives, while Chelsey Lockey direct the attack with 31 assists to round out the top strike performers. Dana Axner flew around the field picking up 14 key peaches during the match.
UNF is led by Dariana Hollingsworth-Santana, who has six kills, and Rocio Moro, who has 11 digs. Ospreys posted a total of 25 kills, but committed 21 fouls during the night.
Jacksonville State made its first appearance in the ASUN title match after winning 3-2 over Kennesaw State, the East Division’s 2nd seed.
FGCU and JSU played once earlier this season in a crossover series hosted by Jacksonville. The Eagles won 3-0 (25-22, 29-27, 25-20) with five Eagles reaching double kills. Lockey had 44 assists in the game, which was translated into Jones (11), VanLiew (10), Shomaker (10), English (10), and Juliana Lentz (10) all post double digit kill counts. The FGCU hits a total of 0.393 and has an 11 to 6 advantage in blocks.
Going into the week, FGCU was the top ASUN team in the NCAA RPI in 43rd place with UNF (76) right behind). The semi-final earlier today featured other top RPI teams in the league such as Kennesaw State at 90th and Jacksonville State at 106th. The Eagles also played against the top 3 RPI teams in FSU (11) , Miami (15), and UCF (24) while winning over Georgia (87).
The career that kills the most
|first.||1.631||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 Messner (.331)||2011-14|
|5.||961||Jessica Barnes (.194)||2010-14|
The most career information
|first.||1,965||Whitney Hendry (390 sets)||2004-07|
|2.||1,912||Dana Axner (380 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 support people
|first.||4.540||Maggie Rick (467 sets)||2015-18|
|2.||4.408||Gigi Myer (474 sets)||2011-14|
|3.||3.372||Chelsey Lockey (373 sets)||2018-present|
|4.||3.108||Chandra Lefever (309 sets)||2006-09|
|5.||1.809||Laura Monovill (186 sets)||2004-05|
Total number of career blocks
|first.||483||Daniele Serrano (442 sets)||2016-19|
|2.||342||Olivia Messner (428 sets)||2011-14|
|3.||287||Ashley Yance (313 sets)||2005-09|
|4.||247||Ericka Fonseca (216 sets)||2005-06|
|5.||208||Aja Jones (173 sets)||2019-present|
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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 10 February 2014. During his tenure, Botsford-led teams formed Overall record 182-58 (.782), including 96 -20 (.827) scored in ASUN play. Including the unprecedented Spring Split this past year, he’s taken the program to heights not seen in the Division-I era (2007 to present) – scoring at least 20 wins overall in six over the past seven seasons and at least 10 conference wins each season. In 2018, he led the show to its first regular-season championship since 2012 (fourth place overall) and its first ASUN tournament title, NCAA appearance, victory in NCAA tournament and victory against a ranked team. His first two campaigns resulted in ASUN’s Regular Season Runner-up, and the next two saw Eagles move towards the league championship and now the team has won three titles. consecutive regular season titles, including an ASUN championship and runner-up finish in spring 2021. On September 10, 2016, Botsford led his team to a five-set win over Indiana at Alico Arena, marking the show’s first win over a team from the Power-5 conference. In 2018, he led the team to a win over Miami (Fla.) – the first Power 5 show win on the road and followed by the Eagles with a straight win over the Hurricanes at a neutral venue on 2019.
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FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 85 regular games and league titles in just over 14 seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just the following nine DI qualifying seasons season, the Eagles have had a total of 42 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have earned the top 25 national rankings in their respective sports – including women’s basketball (21st, 2020-21), beach volleyball (20th, 2021) and both men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s soccer (2018) are three of the most recent. In 2016-17, Green and Blue finished in the series’ best sixth place in the DI-AAA Learfield Director’s Cup and the top 100 was screened nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS organizations. In 2018-19, the Eagles had one ASUN and seven of Florida’s best teams winning the NCAA’s Recognition Award for Academic Progress Rate in their sport. FGCU also achieved a record GPA of 3.50 in the classroom during the fall 2020 semester and has outperformed the general University student population for 24 consecutive semesters. Each of the Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters saw another major milestone achieved as all 15 programs achieved a group GPA of 3.0 or higher in each. semester. The Eagles also served an all-time high 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – recognized as one of two runners-up for the first ever NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.
https://fgcuathletics.com/news/2021/11/19/vanliew-shomaker-power-volleyball-past-north-florida-3-0.aspx VanLiew, Shomaker Power Vollectron over North Florida, 3-0