Axner, Carroll highlight FGCU's sweep of Bethune-Cookman

Axner, Carroll highlight FGCU's sweep of Bethune-Cookman

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FORT MYERS, Fla. - Dana Axner became the youngest player in program history to reach 1,000 career digs, while Amanda Carroll produced her first double-double of the season as the FGCU volleyball team (19-3) recorded a 25-15, 25-20, 25-15 win over Bethune-Cookman (6-17) in Alico Arena on Tuesday.
 
Axner (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman HS) is the first sophomore in the program's Division I era to reach 1,000. She has competed in 56 career matches, averaging 5.17 digs per set. On Tuesday, she reached the milestone midway through the third set and finished with a match-high 20. In fact, it was the seventh time in her career she recorded at least 20 in a three-set match, and she is already fifth in career digs among players in the Division I era.
 
"I've never seen anything like her," FGCU head coach Matt Botsford said. "I've been at this for a long time and never coached a player quite like Dana. Her command of that position at such an early age is really something special. As a coach, you don't typically get to enjoy what's happening with individual performances. You're looking from more of a tactical perspective, but it's hard to not watch the things Dana is doing out there and be impressed while the match is happening from my seat."
 
Carroll (Albuquerque, N.M./Sandia HS), meanwhile, had a throwback performance, recording a match and season-high 10 kills - including the match-winner - while adding 14 digs, two assists, one ace and one block assist. The double-digit dig performance was her fifth of the season and fell just three shy of her season-high. As far as double-doubles, she now has 43 in her career, which is the second-most in program history behind 2016 Olympian Brooke Youngquist Sweat, who had 50 for the Eagles from 2004-07.
 
Furthermore, Carroll pushed her career kill total against Bethune-Cookman to 89, which is 50 more than anyone else has recorded against the Wildcats in program history. Her defensive performance also allowed her to move past Maggie Rick (53, 2015-18) for the most digs against the Wildcats with 60, and she achieved it in two fewer sets than Rick.
 
"Amanda played great," Botsford said. "She's had a few more opportunities recently to attack and you can see what it does because of her decision making, and that comes from experience. We know what she's capable of, so it's really nice to have that option out there, and when we've gotten a little bit error-prone, we've called on Amanda to settle things down as an attacker. She's done exactly what we've needed from her."
 
In addition to Carroll's 10 kills and .421 hitting percentage, Tori Morris (Virginia Beach, Va./Floyd E. Kellam HS) added seven at a .357 clip. Five others had five each, including Chelsey LockeyAja Jones (Venice, Fla./Venice HS)Erin ShomakerSnowy Burnam and Cortney VanLiew.
 
Lockey (Eaton, Colo./Eaton HS) added a match-high 35 assists while chipping in five digs, two block assists, the team's lone solo block and an ace. Meanwhile, Axner and VanLiew (Seymour, Ind./Columbus East HS) each had three assists, while VanLiew chipped in five digs. Defensively, Shomaker (Granville, Ohio/Granville HS) and Burnam (Palm City, Fla./Jensen Beach HS) each had four digs.
 
Daniele Serrano (Sanford, Fla./Seminole HS), who was able to get a bit of rest during Tuesday's match, pushed her career block total up to 431.0 on Tuesday with her one stuff. She is now five shy of surpassing Morgan Van Alstine (North Florida, 2013-16) for the second-most in ASUN history. Meredith Hardy (ETSU, 2010-13) tops the list with 474.0.

From a team perspective, FGCU is now 14-0 all-time against Bethune-Cookman, which is the most wins against any non-conference school in program history, topping the 10 wins against Florida International. Additionally, the Wildcats have won just five sets all-time against the Eagles.

As a team, FGCU extended its season-high winning streak to nine straight while concluding the non-conference portion of the regular season schedule. The Eagles, who have won 17 straight matches at home dating back to Oct. 7 of last year, have also won 10 straight sets and will resume conference play on the road this weekend against Jacksonville and North Alabama. The Green and Blue is currently tied with Kennesaw State at 7-1 atop the conference and is looking to defend their ASUN regular season and tournament championships.


 
Fall Sports Single-Game, Season and Group Tickets On Sale
Single-game tickets for volleyball, men's soccer and women's soccer are on sale now. Prices are $7 for adults and $5 for military/veterans (with ID) and youth (age 15 and under).
 
Season tickets (entry to each home game) are $55 for volleyball and women's soccer and $40 for men's soccer. Group tickets are $7 for groups of 15 or more and will include reserved seats, group recognition, group activity and choice of FGCU gear or food. Fall Frequent Flyer passes, which includes a total of 30 entries to all three sports, are just $99.
 
For all inquiries, you can visit FGCUtickets.com, call 239-590-7145 or stop by the ticket office, which is open daily Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and one hour prior to all home events.

 
COACH BOTSFORD
Matt Botsford is in his sixth season as head coach of the FGCU women's volleyball program in 2019 after being hired on Feb. 10, 2014. In his tenure, Botsford-led teams have compiled a 134-48 (.736) record overall, including a 64-16 (.800) record in ASUN play. Including this past season, he has taken the program to heights it has not seen in the Division-I era (2007-present) – registering at least 20 wins overall in four straight seasons and at least 10 wins in conference play five straight seasons. Furthermore, the team's offensive efficiency has drastically improved since Botsford started. In his first two seasons, his squad produced hitting percentages of .212 and .220. The next two, which saw .267 and .256 percentages, are the third and fourth highest in program history. 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. On Sept. 10, 2016, Botsford led his team to a five-set win over Indiana in Alico Arena, which signified the program's first-ever win over a team from a Power-5 conference. This past season, he led the team to a win over Miami (Fla.) - the program's first-ever road Power-5 win.
 
#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 utilize the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.
 
ABOUT FGCU
FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 78 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 12 seasons at the Division-I level. Additionally, in just eight seasons of D-I postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had a combined 36 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. Seven FGCU programs have earned a top-25 national ranking in their respective sport – including both men's and women's soccer again in 2018. 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 3.35 GPA in the classroom in the spring 2018 semester and has outperformed the general University undergraduate population for twenty consecutive semesters. 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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