FGCU volleyball ends season in A-Sun semifinals, careers end for two seniors

The No. 2-seeded FGCU volleyball team was knocked out of the semifinal round in the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament semifinals with a 3-1 loss to Kennesaw State in Nashville on Friday, Nov. 20.
FGCU ends its season with a 21-11 record, while KSU improved to a 19-8 record before falling to Lipscomb in a three-set shutout in the championship Saturday, Nov. 21.
FGCU and Kennesaw State opened the conference semifinal match with a tight 25-22 first set that went in favor of KSU. The Eagles were able to even the match, winning the second set 25-17. In the third, FGCU and Kennesaw were tied at 23 — only for KSU to claim the final two points, taking the third game 25-23. In the fourth, FGCU attempted a late rally but fell short, with KSU finishing 25-21.

embrace head coach Matt Botsford during Senior Night celebrations this season. (Photo by Rick DePaiva)
Eleonora Kazarian and Vanessa Benke embrace head coach Matt Botsford during Senior Night celebrations this season. (Photo by Rick DePaiva)

Collegiate careers ended for two FGCU seniors, Eleonora Kazarian and Vanessa Benke.
Kazarian, a 5-foot-10-inch outside hitter from Tibillisi, Georgia, averaged 3.64 points per set and 3.03 kills per set this season. The College of Central Florida transfer posted 639 kills and 3.31 kills per set since joining the Eagles last season.
Benke, who took on the libero role for the first time in her career, finished second in the conference with 558 digs, just 35 short of leading the A-Sun, and in digs per set with 4.65, both behind Jacksonville’s Mayara Prestes. Benke finished with 27 digs to lead the floor on defense on Friday night.