ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Despite a 12-day hiatus and a home match relocation due to Hurricane Ian, FGCU took down ASUN opponent Lipscomb 3-1 from St. Petersburg, Florida on Friday.
With the win, the Eagles improved to 12-4 overall and 2-1 in league play. Lipscomb fell to 6-10 and 3-2 in the ASUN.
Senior outside hitter Erin Shomaker (Granville, Ohio) posted a career-high day offensively with 29 kills, breaking the FGCU record for the most kills ever in a four-set match. Shomaker hit .400 for the match making the most of 55 attacks.
“I’ve seen a lot of brilliant performances from Erin, but what she did tonight was unbelievable,” head coach Matt Botsford said. “To hit that efficiency and at that volume, she was really in a great rhythm. Overall, I loved our team’s poise and especially liked our defense. I think we have the potential to really disrupt teams when we play with that kind of dedication on We had some great contributions from Shelby (Kent) and Rylen (Reid), and I thought Lily (Felts) and Dana (Axner) really anchored our first touch, allowing Chelsey (Lockey) to have some nice options out there “
The Green and Blue dropped the opening set 25-21, but would soon find its groove to rally off three straight set wins to clinch the match.
The Eagles closed set two on a 9-1 run, winning 25-16, and never looked back. FGCU regained control en route to a 25-15 set-three win and in the fourth, the Eagles put the Bisons away 25-22.
This season, FGCU is 6-1 in four-set matches. In those 4-set contests, the Eagles have dropped the first set only twice, to VCU and Lipscomb. Lipscomb outpaced the Eagles in aces, 7-5, but the Eagles held the edge in total kills (50-48), blocks (9-7) assists (49-46) and in digs (55-43).
As a squad, the Green and Blue limited the attack and service errors Friday, winning both battles 24-16 and 15-7 respectively. FGCU held a .323 or above attack percentage in three of the four sets.
Setter Chelsea Lockey (Eaton, Colo.) is to thank for FGCU’s offensive spurts with 44 assists. Friday’s assist total for Lockey marked the seventh time this season that the fifth-year senior has recorded a 40-plus assists outing.
Lily Felts (Knoxville, Tenn.) was one kill shy of recording her eight-straight match of 10 or more kills. Felts also added 12 digs and two solo blocks in the defensive effort.
Dana Axner (Dublin, Ohio) tallied 21 digs to lead the Eagles defensively, her third match of the season with 20-plus digs. Axner and company held the Bisons to a -.028 attacking percentage in the third and .175 percent for the match
As part of the net defense, Kortney Reynolds (Plain City, Ohio) tallied a team-leading six blocks, while Shelby Kent (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) added four.
FGCU returns to action tomorrow to face Austin Peay at 5 pm from the McArthur Center on the campus of Eckerd College from St. Petersburg, Florida.
EAGLES ON THE RISE
|place. Name (Year)||FGCU Career Kills|
|one. Cortney VanLiew (2017-21)||1,657|
|2. Amanda Carroll (2015-19)||1,483|
|3. Brooke Youngquist (2004-07)||1,173|
|4. Olivia Mesner (2011-14)||1,132|
|5. Erin Shomaker (2019-||1,118|
|place. Name (University and Years)||ASUN Career Digs|
|1. Shelley Walroth (Jacksonville: 2006-09)||2,456|
|2. Dana Axner (FGCU: 2018-||2,204|
|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|
|place. Name (Year)||FGCU Career Assists|
|1. Maggie Rick (2015-18)||4,540|
|2. Gigi Meyer (2011-14)||4,408|
|3. Chelsea Lockey (2018-||4,082|
|4. Chandra Lefever (2006-07, 09)||3,108|
|5. Laura Manoville (2004-05)||1,809|
For complete coverage of the volleyball program, 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 have news on FGCU volleyball or other programs delivered directly to your inbox by visiting www.fgcuathletics.com/email.
IT TAKES A TEAM to achieve our newest goal – a $10 million campaign to address student-athlete needs in continued academic success, life skills, mental health, nutrition, and strength and conditioning as well as departmental needs in facility expansion and improvement as well as mentoring and leadership training for coaches and staff. The name embodies our mission and the purpose of the EAGLE Campaign – Eagle Athletics Generating Lifetime Excellence. Join Our Team and pledge your gift today to help the Eagles of tomorrow!
Matt Botsford Finished 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 195-63 (.755) record overall, including a 98-21 (.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 in six of the past seven 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. Now, the team has won four-straight regular season titles, including two ASUN Tournament Championship Titles. Ten Sept. 10, 2016, Botsford led his team to a five-set win over Indiana in Alico Arena, which signed the program’s first-ever win over a team from a Power-5 conference. In 2018, he also 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. In 2021, Botsford led the Eagles to 27 victories, tying the program record previously set in 2016, 2018 and 2019 seasons, and a NCAA First Round win over Texas Tech. The win over the Red Raiders marked the second NCAA First Round win for the Green and Blue following its 3-2 win over No. 13 UCF in Orlando in 2018.
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), FGCU Athletics’ charities of choice. For more information, including how to make a contribution, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and utilize the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.
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 postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had a combined 45 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. In 2022, the men’s golf team became the first program to earn at at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. Eight FGCU programs have earned a top-25 national ranking in their respective sport – including women’s basketball (No. 20, 2021-22), beach volleyball (No. 20, 2022) and both men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s soccer (2018) as four 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 26 consecutive semesters. The past five semesters (Fall 2019 – Spring 2022) saw another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a 3.0-or-higher cumulative team GPA. 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.