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Serrano cements legacy as FGCU claims another tournament championship

Serrano cements legacy as FGCU claims another tournament championship
Photo Provided by FGCU Athletics // Daniele Serrano inched closer to cementing her name in history, as she's now eight blocks shy of the all-time ASUN record for career blocks.

By Jake Henning
Assistant Sports Editor

The FGCU women’s volleyball swept the Sunshine State Challenge with wins against Miami (3-0), UCF (3-1), and FAU (3-0).

The Eagles started the tournament sweeping Miami in three straight sets, making this their second consecutive sweep of the Hurricanes.

Erin Shomaker and Courtney VanLiew continued their success tied with a game-high twelve kills each. Chelsea Lockey also kept up her stellar play contributing 40 assists.

“Chelsey just keeps getting better every time we hit the floor and our offensive balance was good all day,” head coach Matt Botsford said.

The second game of the doubleheader Friday featured a rematch of the first round of the NCAA Tournament, where FGCU upset UCF in five sets. In this matchup, UCF took a back and forth first set, but FGCU came back to win all three sets after.

Courtney VanLiew led FGCU in kills as she racked up 18 kills through four sets. She also added two blocks and one service ace.

Freshman Aja Jones came into the game and made some big plays down the stretch which led to an FGCU win. She had a double block with Snowy Burnam that would clinch the 25-22 fourth set win for the Eagles.

“Aja brought a ton of energy into the UCF match and was a big factor in the result,” Botsford said. “She played well beyond her years and came up with some key plays.”

FGCU would close out the Sunshine State Challenge with a three-set win against FAU on Sunday.

Courtney VanLiew once again led the Eagles in kills as she logged a match-high 16 kills along with two blocks and one serving ace to lead FGCU to a win and earn herself tournament MVP recognition.

“Our sideout game was very sharp today,” FGCU head coach Matt Botsford said. “We continued to pressure from the service line, and our players were making good decisions on the court. We found a really nice balance as attackers that allowed us to keep FAU off balance.”

With FGCU winning the Sunshine State Classic championship as they swept the weekend competition, two players cemented their legacy in the Green and Blue. Senior Danielle Serrano claimed the top spot on FGCU’s all-time records list for career blocks with an astonishing 402 blocks and Amanda Carroll rose to third place on the program’s Division I era list for career digs as she pushed her total to 1,086 over the weekend.

Next for the Eagles will be heading to Lynchburg, VA to take on Liberty for their first ASUN game of the season on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 6 p.m.

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