The FGCU volleyball team was picked to finish first in the 2022 Preseason ASUN Coaches Poll Thursday. Erin Shomaker was selected ASUN Preseason Player of the Year, and Chelsey Lockey was named Preseason Setter of the Year.
Tennessee transfer Lily Felts joined Lockey and unanimous selection Shoemaker on the preseason all-conference squad. The reigning ASUN champs and NCAA Tournament Second-Round Eagles captured three of seven named preseason all-conference selections.
FGCU tallied 13 of the 14 first-place votes (191) in the coaches' poll. Jacksonville State was picked second with 167 points.
"It's always a nice thing to see our players recognized for preseason awards, and this is a group that is certainly worthy," head coach Matt Botsford said. "Erin and Chelsey have made a big mark in this conference over their careers, and I know that Lily is excited to do the same with her final year of eligibility. Of course we are appreciative of being considered one of the top teams in the ASUN, but the truth is, our path to another championship continues to get even more difficult. This group is well aware that if we have plans to defend our title, we will have to be better than we were a year ago."
The Eagles enter the 2022 campaign after a historic 2021 season that witnessed FGCU tie the program record for single-season wins (27) and post its best-ever RPI of No. 31.
Shomaker is a two-time ASUN Player of the Year. The outside hitter started in all 33 matches last season racking up numerous awards: three ASUN Player of the Week honors, named ASUN Tournament's Most Outstanding Player, named to the AVCA All-Southeast Region Team, an AVCA Honorable Mention All-American and ASUN All-Academic Team.
Lockey, a fifth-year senior, was named to the 2022 Women's Collegiate National Team this summer and earned ASUN First Team honors last year. Lockey started in all 33 matches in 2021 as the top setter for FGCU with 1,118 assists, ranking second in the ASUN for assists per set (10.35) and 39th nationally. She ranked 29th nationally for total assists.
Felts was named to the All-SEC Team playing for Tennessee in 2020-21. She notched her 1,000th career kill against No. 9 Ohio State last year, becoming the 22nd player in Tennessee history to reach the 1,000 kill milestone.
This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: FGCU volleyball picked by coaches to win ASUN