FGCU's VanLiew Becomes First D-I AVCA All-American In Program History

FGCU's VanLiew Becomes First D-I AVCA All-American In Program History

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Cortney VanLiew, a sophomore outside hitter on the FGCU volleyball team, has been named an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Honorable Mention All-American this morning. She becomes the first player in the program's Division-I era to earn the honor.

"Cortney has been one of the top players in the country throughout the season, and I am so happy that the committee recognized her contributions and talents," FGCU head coach Matt Botsford said. "To be honored, at this level, speaks volumes. Cortney's performance this year helped to elevate our program to new heights, and she is such a deserving recipient. I am so proud of her and thankful to have such a great representative of FGCU volleyball included among the nation's elite."

VanLiew (Seymour, Ind./Columbus East HS), who is one of only three players in the Division-I era to earn First Team All-Region recognition from the AVCA, had a monstrous year while leading the Green and Blue to the best season in program history.

Statistically, she racked up 482 kills while hitting .241 and adding 312 digs, which was second on the team, along with 26 assists and 47 blocks (10 solo). She finished just three kills shy of matching Amanda Carroll's (Albuquerque, N.M./Sandia HS) single-season kills record set in 2016, and her 790 career kills already ranks fifth in the Division-I era. She had double-digit kills in all but seven matches this year and tallied 13 double-doubles, including 25 kills and 12 digs in a win over 13th-seeded UCF in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

Prior to her AVCA recognition, VanLiew was named the ASUN's unanimous player of the year and earned spots on the ASUN's all-tournament and all-academic team. She represented the program on CoSIDA's Academic All-District First Team, was the MVP of the Sunshine State Challenge and earned ASUN player of the week recognition on Aug. 27 and Nov. 5.
 
VanLiew, a straight-A student during her time in Fort Myers, helped lead FGCU to the best season in program history. The Eagles finished 27-7 overall while running through the ASUN with a 15-1 record to capture the program's first regular season championship since 2012. Following that, they knocked off defending champion Kennesaw State on their home court in a five-set thriller to claim its first-ever ASUN tournament title.

The Eagles weren't done there as VanLiew played a key role in FGCU's upset of 13th-seeded and No. 21 ranked UCF in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. It was the program's first-ever win over a ranked team in its 13th try, and the Eagles advanced to the second round before falling to No. 16 Florida. In addition to all that, the team won 27 matches, which tied the 2016 team's Division-I wins record.

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