No. 2 Seed FGCU Wins 2nd ASUN Title in a Row with Sweep of Top-Seeded Liberty
No. 2 seed FGCU successfully defended its 2021 ASUN title, sweeping top-seeded Liberty (25-18, 25-22, 25-15) in the final match of the 2022 ASUN Volleyball Championship, Saturday at Lipscomb’s Allen Arena.
FGCU (26-7) pushed its winning streak to 10 matches in a row, becoming the first team since Lipscomb in 2015 and 2016 to win back-to-back ASUN Volleyball Championship titles. The Lady Flames (23-8) brought a 12-match winning streak into tonight’s final, defeating No. 8 seed Stetson and No. 4 seed Lipscomb, both in five sets, to advance to the final.
The Eagles have earned the ASUN’s automatic qualifying bid to the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship. The selection show will air on ESPNU on Sunday, Nov. 27 at 7:30 p.m.
The Lady Flames, by virtue of their ASUN regular-season title, have earned the conference’s automatic berth to the 2022 National Invitational Volleyball Championship. Seeding and selections for that tournament will be determined shortly after the NCAA Selection Show on Nov. 27.
FGCU’s Chelsey Lockey was named the Championship MVP and was joined by five Eagles on the ASUN All-Tournament Team. Delaney Dilfer represented Liberty on the ASUN All-Tournament Team, her second career conference all-tournament team honor (also Spring 2021).
• FGCU outhit the Lady Flames .281-.168, while the Eagles also led in kills (43-37), aces (9-4) and blocks (10-5). Both teams recorded 44 digs.
• FGCU’s Lily Felts and Erin Shomaker scored 10 kills each, while Dana Axner collected a match-high 15 digs and served up three aces. Chelsey Lockey dished out 33 assists, while Lauren Clark posted a match-high seven blocks and Juliana Lentz registered six blocks.
• Kamryn Bacus scored a match-high 12 kills for the Lady Flames, while Lydia Burts totaled seven kills. Delaney Dilfer dished out 30 assists, while Erica Lowery contributed two aces and 14 digs. Madison Blane and Trinity Watts posted three blocks each.
• After falling 25-18 in set one, Liberty came out with a vengeance in the second set. The Lady Flames led 13-7 after a kill from Bacus. However, the Eagles responded with a 9-0 run, scoring eight points while Axner served, taking a 17-13 lead. The Lady Flames battled back to within 23-22, but a kill and a block by Lentz sent FGCU to the 2-0 match advantage.
• FGCU now holds an 8-2 advantage over Liberty in volleyball, as the two teams split the season series this year. The Lady Flames handed the Eagles their last loss to date, a 3-1 Liberty win at FGCU on Oct. 22 that snapped the Eagles’ 22-match home winning streak. FGCU is 3-0 all-time against the Lady Flames in the ASUN Volleyball Championship.
• Liberty made its first-ever appearance in the ASUN final, and first conference tournament final appearance since winning its seventh Big South Tournament title in 2012.
• Liberty’s 12-match winning streak, which ended tonight, was its longest under current Head Coach Trevor Johnson and longest since winning 13 in a row, Sept. 20 through Oct. 25, 2014.
• Bacus and Dilfer played the last two years for Lipscomb, helping the Bisons win the Spring 2021 ASUN Volleyball Championship title with a 3-2 win over FGCU in the final. They were both playing in their second career ASUN Volleyball Championship final, with both coming against FGCU.
Liberty will await its postseason fate, as the Lady Flames will have the opportunity to compete in the 2022 NIVC. The Lady Flames last played in the NIVC in 2019, earning the first two postseason victories in program history while qualifying for the NIVC Elite Eight.
Pictured at top: Kamryn Bacus