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Volleyball Heads West For Colorado State Invitational

FORT MYERS, Fla. – FGCU Volleyball travels west to compete in the Colorado State Invitational this weekend.

The Eagles will face Alabama State (1 pm) and tournament host Colorado State (9 pm) on Friday. The battle against Colorado State will be aired on Mountain West Network. FGCU will close out the invitational on Saturday at 1 pm against Arkansas.

The Green and Blue is fresh off a 3-0 start with wins over Navy, Rhode Island and Maryland. Alabama State enters the weekend 0-4, Colorado State is 2-1 and Arkansas is 1-1.

Colorado State opened the season with a 3-1 home-court victory over North Carolina in front of its eighth largest crowd in program history (5,961). Arkansas defeated No. 8 Washington to begin its campaign and reached the second round of the NIVC last season, along with Colorado State.

FGCU will face both Colorado State and Arkansas for the first time in program history. FGCU is 2-7 all-time against the SEC. The Eagles have wins over both Auburn (2018) and Georgia (2021). In its history, the Green and Blue have secured eight Power Five wins to its resume, adding to the count last Sunday with Maryland.

The Eagles are 2-0 all-time against Alabama State, winning 3-0 in 2014 and 2018.

Three Eagles were named to the ASUN volleyball weekly awards on Monday. Erin Shomaker won ASUN Player of the Week, dana axner took home the ASUN Defensive Player of the Week honor and ChelseyLockey was awarded the ASUN Setter of the Week. Anxer captured her seventh defensive player of the week, and Shomaker won her fifth player of the week honors.

Each played a key role to keep the Eagles remain undefeated on the young season, losing only three sets at the Maryland Invite. The win over the Terps marked the eighth Power Five win and the third Big Ten win in program history for the Green and Blue.

At the Maryland Invite, Shomaker moved into sixth all-time in career kills at FGCU with 938. She is 23 kills from fifth place on the FGCU all-time career list and 62 kills from 1,000 as only four Eagles have ever reached the mark. Shomaker currently ranks second in the ASUN this season in total kills (50) and fifth in kills per set at 4.17.

5th-year libero and defensive specialist Anxer is currently tied for fourth in the ASUN in total digs this season (47) and is fourth in active career leaders in all of Division I with 2,005. She became FGCU’s all-time leader in career digs in the season opening win over Navy.

Colorado native Lockey ranks 14th in active career leaders in all of Division I for total career assists (3607). Lockey currently ranks fifth in the ASUN in assists per set with 10.25. As a team, FGCU ranks second in the ASUN in total assists and kills courtesy of Lockey.

Nationally, the Eagles rank sixth in assists per set at 2.75.

Skylar English leads the net defense squad with 13 blocks, while Lauren Clark provides another explosive attacking option for the Eagles with 27 kills, second on the team.


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.

EAGLE CAMPAIGN
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!

COACH BOTSFORD
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 187-59 (.760) record overall, including a 96-20 (.827) record in ASUN play. Including this past year’s unprecedented spring season, he has taken the program to heights it has not been 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. On Sept. 10, 2016, Botsford led his team to a five-set win over Indiana in Alico Arena, which meant 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.

#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), FGCU Athletics’ charities of choice. For more information, including how to make a contribution, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and use the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.

ABOUT FGCU
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 plus 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-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. In five of the past six semesters (Fall 2019 – Fall 2021), the Eagles reached another milestone as all 15 programs achieved a 3.0-or-higher team GPA in each. 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.

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