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Volleyball Still Undefeated in the ASUN With Two Sweeps at Home

Jessica Piland/FGCU Athletics

After a quick and victorious two match road trip in which the FGCU volleyball team swept Queens and secured a 3-2 match over Kennesaw State, the Eagles returned home to sweep both Stetson University and the University of Central Arkansas, 3-0, to continue their undefeated start in ASUN Conference play.

Heading into these two matches, the Eagles held an overall record of 11-5 and a conference record of 4-0. The Stetson Hatters were first up on the schedule to start the current five-match homestand, coming into the match with a record of 8-8 overall and 3-1 in conference play.

FGCU got off to an early lead in set one, but Stetson responded by taking a late lead near the end of that first set. The Hatters got one point away from the win before the Eagles could do the same. However, neither team could capture the set, as there were seven set points between the teams.

On that seventh set point, the Hatters committed an attack error as the Eagles captured a 31-29 set one victory. That was the most intense set of the match by far.

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In the second set, the Eagles got off to an early lead just like in set-one. The difference between the two sets was that Stetson couldn’t respond, as FGCU won set-two pretty handedly, 25-13.

Set three started similarly to the first two, with FGCU taking an early lead. Stetson took brief leads later on in the set, but FGCU responded to the challenge, retaking the lead and eventually securing a 25-23 set three victory and a 3-0 sweep for the Eagles in a win over the Hatters to start their homestand.

FGCU volleyball head coach Matt Botsford looks to the Alico Arena scoreboard as a video dedicated to Botsford and his ten-year career at FGCU plays. (Jessica Piland/FGCU Athletics)

Next up, the Eagles welcomed the Central Arkansas Sugar Bears, who came into the match with a 6-11 overall record and an 0-5 conference record. In this match, it wasn’t the Eagles who got out to an early lead, but the Sugar Bears who got ahead early in set one.

The Sugar Bears were able to hold an advantage or at least stay level with the Eagles until FGCU took a lead, 23-22, that they never relinquished, leading to 25-23 tight set one victory for FGCU that was sealed by a kill from junior outside hitter Shelby Kent.

It was all Eagles in set-two as they earned a comfortable 25-16 set-two victory to push the Sugar Bears to the brink. Set-three was close throughout as whichever team had the lead at any time was not given any sort of breathing room to grow their leads.

FGCU was able to reach a set and match point while up 24-21 on Central Arkansas. There was still some fight left in the Sugar Bears, as they tied it up again at 24 all. But it wasn’t enough as the Eagles took care of business on the next set and match point to win set three, 26-24, and the match, 3-0, for the Eagles’ second sweep in a row.

During the match against Central Arkansas, fifth-year outside hitter Alexandra Zakutney reached a milestone of 1,500 career kills over her five-year college career. After the match and in celebration of Alumni Weekend for FGCU volleyball, a tribute video was shown to honor and celebrate head coach Matt Botsford’s 10 seasons coaching at FGCU.

Now, the Eagles are 13-5 overall and improve their undefeated conference record to 6-0. The homestand continues with two more matches against ASUN opponents as FGCU hosts Austin Peay on Friday and Lipscomb, the only other undefeated team in the conference, on Saturday.

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About the Contributor
James Curtis
James Curtis, Eagle News Sports Editor
James Curtis is a senior majoring in journalism and minoring in global studies. He is from Tampa, FL, and has known he wanted to be a journalist since taking a journalism class in seventh grade. He has been involved in sports for his whole life, including swimming competitively all the way through high school. His goal now is to be a sports journalist. When not covering sports games or writing stories, he's usually spending his free time with his friends or watching YouTube.

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