Five members from the FGCU beach volleyball team (13-9, 7-3 A-SUN) earned A-SUN awards and recognition during the season. Freshman Snowy Burnam was named A-SUN Freshman of the Year unanimously. This was the first time in A-SUN history that a volleyball player has won A-SUN Freshman of the Year in indoor and beach volleyball in the same school year.
“Snowy is an unbelievable talent and such a coachable young player,” FGCU head coach Matt Botsford said. “She is always eager to learn and you can see how much she truly loves this game. She plays with a joy that is infectious and her attitude as a competitor makes her special. This is quite an honor, and I am so proud of Snowy for the hard work she has put in throughout the season to get to this point.”
Burnam and fellow freshman Kayla Whetstone were unanimous selections on the A-SUN All-Freshman Team. Burnam and Whetstone compiled a 14-8 record in the regular season, which is second best on the team behind Rhoades and Puisis (16) and the most in program history from a No. 4 pair.
“Kayla and Snowy showed early on that they could complement one another out there and be a difficult match-up for our opponents,” Botsford said. “They play with a lot of poise and can win in different ways, which makes it tougher for other teams to prepare for. They have been so consistent this season and have transitioned so well to the college game. I’m really excited to see them honored.”
Juniors Karissa Rhoades and Katie Puisis unanimously earned spots on the A-SUN All-Conference First Team after finishing with a program record-breaking 16 wins. This was the second straight season the pair were named members of the A-SUN All-Conference First Team.
“Katie and Karissa have had an unbelievable run these past two years,” Botsford said. “To see them surpass the standard they set for themselves after last season is really impressive, and I am so happy for them. Their dependability out on the court has really helped us as a team and the best part is, they continue to improve.”
Rhoades along with fellow junior Amanda Carroll were named members of the A-SUN All-Academic Team.
“Amanda and Karissa are such great examples of what it means to be a student-athlete,” Botsford said. “To excel in one of those areas is tough enough, but to do it in both the way they have is really impressive. Each of them takes their educational experience here at FGCU very seriously and their commitment to academics continues to be a priority.”
The Eagles begin the A-SUN Conference Tournament against Stetson on April 21 at 11 A.M.