ASUN CHAMPIONS! Volleyball Wins Championship Title and Advances to NCAA Tournament

FORT MYERS, Fla.Erin Shomaker posted her second straight double-double with 18 kills and 14 digs to lead the FGCU volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-17, 17-25, 25-20, 25-21) win over Jacksonville State on Saturday night in Alico Arena to claim the 2021 ASUN Championship crown. With the win, the Eagles (26-5) have won their ticket to the upcoming NCAA tournament starting December 2-4.

The win was the second time in four years and overall, FGCU has won the ASUN championship title. The first league title came in 2018, where the Eagles also defeated the No. 13 UCF in the first round of the NCAA. The Greens and Blauw advanced to the championship game for the sixth consecutive season.

FGCU entered the ASUN Championship Tournament as the No. 1 in the East Division, while Jacksonville State was the No. 1 in the West Division.

“I couldn’t be happier for our team, a lot of hard work and effort has gone into this season. You want that kind of ending for that special of a group,” said head coach Matt Botsford. “I thought Jacksonville State was really pushing us from the service line and we had a hard time digging ourselves out of the holes because the first contact wasn’t what we wanted. We persevered and found some big moments for us. I think that Erin was excellent and took some big swings in some tough spots.”

Shomaker was named Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament after tonight’s performance, hitting .289 while adding an ace and a block. Joining Shomaker in the All-Tournament Team were: Dana Axner and Cortney Van Liew.

VanLiew ended the night just shy of a double-double himself with 11 kills and eight digs. She also added three service aces. Just Jones scored 10 kills with a hit rate of .316, while Skylar English had eight kills, including the match winner, six digs, and two blocks.

rear Chelsey Lockey’s 45 assists, the FGCU offense hit .264 for the game, marked by a .438 try in the first set and a .333 performance in the third set. She also finished with a double-double with 12 counts. Axner led the floor defense with 22 counts and had five aces on the service line.

JSU saw Lena Kindermann count 17 dead, while Addie Halverson had 12 dead.

FGCU used a five point run late in the first set to open the game 1-0. The Gamecocks controlled the second set early and built a 13-5 lead that the Eagles were unable to recover. In the third set, FGCU used another five point late run to take a 24-19 lead before a Shomaker kill turned it into a 2-1 lead two points later. With the fourth set also going back and forth, a pair of JSU errors coupled with kills from VanLiew and English gave the Eagles a 24-20 lead. The Gamecocks got one point back before Engels sealed the title win with a kill to close out the night.

The Eagles held JSU to just a .180 success rate that night, although the Gamecocks took advantage of the service line with a 7-to-2 advantage. Both teams finished the game with seven blocks.

FGCU will discover its NCAA match-up on November 28 during the NCAA Selection Show broadcast on ESPNU. More details will be shared when available.

The Eagles improved to 16-10 in ASUN tournament play with the win and stayed home a perfect 14-0. FGCU went into the weekend with the No. 43 RPI in the nation, while the other semifinalists in the tournament had the top 110 RPIs – North Florida (76), Kennesaw State (90) and Jacksonville State (106).

Most career kills

1. 1.642 Cortney Van Liew (.226) 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. 1965 Whitney Hendry (390 sets) 2004-07
2. 1,934 Dana Axner (384 series) 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 assistants

1. 4.540 Maggie Rick (467 sets) 2015-18
2. 4.408 Gigi Myer (474 ​​sets) 2011-14
3. 3,417 Chelsey Lockey (377 series) 2018-present
4. 3.108 Chandra Lefever (309 sets) 2006-09
5. 1,809 Laura Monoville (186 sets) 2004-05

Most career total blocks

1. 483 Daniele Serrano (442 sets) 2016-19
2. 342 Olivia Mesner (428 sets) 2011-14
3. 287 Ashley Yance (313 sets) 2005-09
4. 247 Ericka Fonseca (216 sets) 2005-06
5. 209 Just Jones (177 series) 2019-present

For full 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 receive news about FGCU volleyball or other programs straight to your inbox by visiting www.fgcuathletics.com/email.

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IT NEEDS A TEAM to achieve our latest goal – a $10 million campaign to address the needs of students and athletes for continued academic success, life skills, mental health, nutrition and strength and conditioning, as well as departmental needs in expanding and improving facilities, as well as coaching and leadership training for coaches and employees. The name embodies our mission and purpose of the EAGLE campaign – Eagle Athletics Generating Lifetime Excellence. Join our team and pledge your gift today to help the Eagles of tomorrow!

COACH BOTSFORD
Matt Botsford is in his eighth season as the head coach of the FGCU women’s volleyball program in 2021, having been hired on February 10, 2014. a 96-20 (.827) record in ASUN play. Including last year’s unprecedented spring season, he has taken the program to heights it has not seen in the Division I era (2007-present) – racking up a total of at least 20 wins in six of the past seven seasons and at least 10 wins in conference play each 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 a second-place finish in ASUN’s regular season, and the next two saw the Eagles advance to the tournament championship and now the team has won three consecutive regular season titles, including a division title and second place in the ASUN tournament. into the Spring 2021 season. On September 10, 2016, Botsford led his team to a five-set win over Indiana at Alico Arena, marking the program’s first-ever win over a team at a Power-5 conference. In 2018, he led the team to a win over Miami (Fla.) – the program’s first-ever Power 5 win, and the Eagles followed that up with an outright win over the Hurricanes in a neutral venue in 2019.

#FEEDFGCU
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), the FGCU Athletics charities. For more information, including how to contribute, visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and use the hashtag #FeedFGCU to raise awareness.

ABOUT FGCU
Together, FGCU teams have won an incredible 85 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of DI postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had 42 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have achieved top 25 nationalities in their respective sports – 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) and three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Greens and Blues took a division best sixth place in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top-100 nationally, for several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018/19, the Eagles had an ASUN and the top seven teams from the state of Florida earned the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their academic progress in their sports. FGCU also collectively achieved a record 3.50 GPA in the classroom in the fall 2020 semester, outperforming the general university undergraduate population for 24 consecutive semesters. Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 each reached another milestone as all 15 programs in each achieved a team GPA of 3.0 or higher. The Eagles also put in a record 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017—and were recognized as one of two runner-up winners for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.

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