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FGCU volleyball adds four new faces

EN Photo / Brad Young

FGCU head volleyball coach, Matt Botsford, has signed four student-athletes during the early signing period. Cortney VanLiew, Snowy Burnam, Alayna Ryan and Sharonda Pickering will join the Eagles for the 2017 season.
“I’m really excited that these four have decided to continue their careers at FGCU,” said Botsford. “They each possess a great blend of volleyball acumen and athleticism that will help propel this team to even greater heights. Equally important is the passion that they have each shown for this program and university. They are committed to our vision for the future and eager to make an impact.”
With the departure of seniors Leigh Pudwill, Marlene Moeller, Caroline Jordan and Marina Adami, the Eagles needed to fill the voids with strong offensive and defensive players.
Cortney VanLiew comes to Southwest Florida after four years at Columbus East High School. She will graduate top-15 in her class this spring. The 5-foot-11 hitter was named Indiana All-State twice and Hoosier Hills All-Conference three times.
Additionally, VanLiew was a recipient of the 2016 Wendy’s Heisman state award for excellence in academics, athletics and community leadership.
Snowy Burnam joins the Eagles following a four-year career at Jensen Beach High School. The 5-foot-11 outside hitter totaled more than 1,000 kills for the Falcons and helped the team to a state championship as a junior in 2015.
She earned recognition as 6A Florida Dairy Farmer Player of the Year, was a three-time All-Area Team selection and was named All-State as a senior.
Following her high school career, Burnam competed in the 2016 European Global Challenge where she was named to the All-Tournament Team after winning first place.
Alayna Ryan is a Fort Myers native and will graduate from Fort Myers High School in the spring with a GPA of 3.98.
The 5-foot-11 outside hitter/defensive specialist was a four-year letterman and two-year captain for the Green Waves. In 2015, she was named FACA 6A-18 All-State Player of the Year and News Press Player of the Year after leading the state of Florida (6A) in kills (384) and finishing sixth in digs (330).
Lastly, Sharonda Pickering is a member of the British Virgin Island’s national team, after graduating from Elmore Stoutt High School, and then attending Hillsborough Community College.
At Hillsborough, she ranked top-15 in the NJCAA in blocks in 2015 and 2016. Last season, she was named First Team All-Conference and posted the best hitting percentage in the nation with a .474.

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