FORT MYERS, Fla. - In Friday's Semifinal action of the 2019 ASUN Conference Volleyball Championship, No. 1 FGCU defeated No. 4 Lipscomb by a score of 3-1 at Alico Arena in Fort Myers, Fla. The Eagles improve to 27-4 to earn their fourth consecutive trip to the ASUN Championship Final.
The opening set was a back and forth battle that had nine ties and two lead changes, the first occurring with an FGCU hitting error to break an 8-8 tie, giving Lipscomb a 9-8 advantage. The Eagles regained the lead with a Snowy Burnam kill to snap the 16-16 tie. The Bisons kept the pressure on with a late 4-0 run but Daniele Serrano finished the set with a kill to put the Eagles up 1-0 (25-23).
In the first 12 points of the second set, there were four ties the final tie occurring when the Player of the Year, Cortney VanLiew recorded a kill to knot the match at 5-5. The Freshman of the Year Erin Shomaker would give the Eagles the lead with a kill of her own. Once FGCU gained a 6-5 advantage they never looked back, taking set two 25-21.
A late run 5-1 run propelled the Bisons to regain their early lead. After Lipscomb regained the lead, the match would be tied two more times before Morgan Elmore gave her squad a late 20-19 advantage. A kill by Logan Gish, back-to-back aces from Maddie Phillips and a block by Samantha Rubal would push Lipscomb to a 25-21 set three victory forcing the fourth set.
After trailing all of the fourth set, FGCU took their first lead after the Bisons committed a ball handling error to put the Eagles on top 17-16. Erin Shomaker followed it up with a kill, the first of four points before Snowy Burnam clinched the match with a kill from the right side.
Inside The Box Score
- In the second set the Eagles outhit the Bisons .517 - .257, committing only two errors as a team.
- Between both teams, seven players reached double-digit kills with Cortney VanLiew and Erin Shomaker leading the way with 16 each.
- The Eagles had 13 team blocks with Tori Morris leading the way with eight.
- There were only six lead changes in the four sets that saw 28 ties, two coming in the first and third set, with one in the second and fourth set.
- Dana Axner had a match-high 33 digs to lead the Eagle defense while her counterpart, Alyssa Zwolensky had 26.
News & Notes
- In the third set, Daniele Serrano had her third block of the night, becoming the ASUN Volleyball all-time career blocks leader, snapping Meredith Hardy's record that had stood since 2013.
- With Elmore's 55 assists tonight she is 11th in the ASUN in all-time history for career assists.
- This will be the fifth trip to the ASUN Championship Final for the Eagles, just the second as the No. 1 overall seed.
- The third set win for Lipscomb marked the first set they have taken from FGCU this season.
No. 1 FGCU advances to battle No. 2 Kennesaw State in the ASUN Championship Final Saturday, at 5 PM in Alico Arena in Fort Myers, Fla. The matchup will be a rematch of the 2017 and 2018 Championship Finals. Lipscomb finishes the 2019 season with a 19-13 record.
ABOUT THE ASUN
The ASUN Conference is an NCAA Division I league with nine member institutions committed to Building Winners for Life. The ASUN meets the challenge of maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement through a true balance between student and athlete. Six ASUN schools reside in Nielsen Top 50 national media markets, and all nine are in top 80 markets. The ASUN includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Liberty University, Lipscomb University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, University of North Alabama, University of North Florida and Stetson University. Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky., joins the ASUN for the 2020-21 academic year.