Volleyball splits Friday action, Colorado State Invitational


FORT COLLINS, Colo. – FGCU Volleyball split the action to two bills at the Colorado State Invitational Friday. The Eagles swept Alabama State 3-0 and fell to Colorado State on the night 3-1.

With Friday’s split, FGCU is now 4-1 on the year. Alabama State fell to 0-5 and Colorado State improved to 3-2.

“Good game in the morning with good chances to see different lineup variations on the pitch,” said the head coach. Matt Botsford said. “The ball control and serve were outstanding and paved the way for us. This evening started with that same serving pressure putting us in a good position in the first set.

Unfortunately, CSU found their groove defensively at the net and our hitters struggled to create. We got very high error, too predictable and just couldn’t apply any pressure. There were some great runs where I felt like our defenders on the ground were holding us down, but without scoring points we found ourselves unable to contain their runs.”

FGCU opened the day with a three-set sweep of Alabama State. The Eagles outscored the Hornets as the game saw just three ties and two lead changes. The Greens and Blues held Alabama State to a .097 hit percentage, giving up just 23 wins.

Offensively, the Eagles hit .384 for the game, including .500 in the opening set. FGCU took a 5-0 lead to start the day and secured a 25-12 straight-set win. A 25-12 point gap marked the biggest margin of victory for the Eagles this season.

The Hornets showed some life in the second and spun off within two, 18-16. After a timely timeout, FGCU put up a 7-2 run to take the set 25-18 and a 2-0 lead.

FGCU won the match in the third set, winning 25-13 for their first sweep of the season. The Eagles edged the Hornets in eliminations 44-23 and in aces 10-2, recording double-digit aces for the third straight game.

Going into the game, the FGCU ranked sixth nationally in aces per set (2.75).

Both skylar english (16) and Erin Shomaker (13) recorded double-digit wins and hit a .470 against the Hornets. English hit .519 and Shomaker hit .478.

The Englishman’s season high of 16 eliminations was one elimination away from matching a career high of 17 a season ago. She also added four aces.

On the night, FGCU won the first set for the fifth straight game this season, edging Colorado State 25-23 in the first.

Unforced errors then plagued the Eagle’s offensive drive all the way as the Rams would get three unanswered wins (25-20, 25-19 and 25-16) to beat FGCU 3-1. FGCU had 36 offensive errors, 10 service errors and eight receiving errors despite leading the Rams in total eliminations, 57-42.

Shomaker led the charge with 20 kills while Juliana Lents added 10. Colorado native Chelsey Lockey recorded 44 assists, his second 40-plus outing of the season and his 27th of his career.

Shoemaker moved up to fifth all-time in FGCU career wins (971) and is just 29 wins away from becoming the fifth Eagle to reach the 1,000 career win mark. At 83 eliminations this season, she currently leads ASUN.

The Eagles are scheduled to face Arkansas tomorrow at 1 p.m. to close out the Colorado State Invitational.

Square. Name (year) Number of careers killed at FGCU
1. Courtney Van Liew (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 971

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.

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Matt Botsford completed his eighth season as head coach of the FGCU women’s volleyball program in 2021 after being hired on February 10, 2014. During his tenure, teams coached by Botsford compiled an overall record of 188-60 (.758), including a 96-20 (.827) ASUN in-game record. 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.

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.

FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 92 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just 10+ seasons of DI playoff eligibility , the Eagles have fielded 45 teams or individuals competing in the 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. In five of the last six semesters (Fall 2019 – Fall 2021), the Eagles have reached another milestone as all 15 programs have achieved a team GPA of 3.0 or higher in each. 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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