Volleyball signs a trio of newcomers for the incoming class in 2022

FORT MYERS, Florida. – After winning the ASUN title and moving into the second round of the NCAA tournament, FGCU head coach Matt Botsford announced a trio of new newcomers who will join the program next fall. Middle blocker Iyanna battle, Outside racket Rylen Reid, and setter Grace Reynolds will all take part in the program as incoming freshmen in the next semester.

The trio will join a strong, recurring line-up for the 2022 season led by two-time ASUN Player of the Year Erin Shomaker as well as Dana Axner and Chelsea Lockey who were selected exclusively at the conferences last season and were previously the defensive player of the year or the setter of the year of the league in their careers.

Iyanna battle | Middle blocker | 6-0 | Painesville, Ohio Parish | Villa Angela-St. Joseph HS

As a senior he counted 167 kills with a hit rate of 0.221 in 73 sets as a senior under head coach Ellen Cvelbar in the Villa Angela-St. Joseph HS… 85 total blocks added along with 42 solo blocks… Also played for the Academy Volleyball Club under John Matsumoto and Brian Ford.

Head coach Matt Botsford on battle:

“Iyanna came late in this class and we are very happy that she is moving to the Greens and Blues. Although she is still relatively new to the sport, her development over the last year underscores her path. Her size above the net is as good as everyone else we’ve had here, and I suspect these physical gifts, coupled with her work ethic and instinct, will enable Iyanna to excel. ”

Rylen Reid | Outside Hitter | 6-0 | Rolling Meadows, Illinois | Foreign HS

Led Fremd HS under head coach Curt Pinley last fall to an overall record of 37-3, where she got 403 kills, which ended up being 16th.that most in Illinois as a senior … For her career she got 901 kills and 105 aces in three full seasons … A two-time All-Illinois selection … As a senior, she was West Co-Player of the Year and All-Area Award Winner, and an All -Conference selection … Named West Player of the Year for the second year in 2019 and was an All-Conference and All-Area Pick … In 2019 and 2021 inducted into the PrepVB Top 150 Player of the Nation … Im In 2021 he was named one of the top 10 players in Illinois by PrepDig. … also played for the Adversity Volleyball Club in the Adidas 18 squad, which was coached by Melissa Masterson … Mother played volleyball in Eastern Illinois.

Head coach Matt Botsford on Reid:

“Rylen is a dynamic six rotation player who will be a wonderful addition to our program. She has excellent feet as an attacker and a great vision that will enable her to achieve a consistent score in college.” She also has great platform skills that make the transition to the serve-receiving phase faster and more efficient. I’ve always loved the way Rylen plays the game in terms of her competitive spirit and passion and I look forward to her bringing that energy to our gym. ”

Grace Reynolds | Typesetter | 5-9 | Martinsville, Indiana | Martinsville HS

A first-team All-American and All-Indiana selection in her career at Martinville HS under head coach Kayla Back … A three-time All-Conference selection that collected 3,443 career assists, 219 aces, 1,317 digs and 339 kills … As Senior, had 882 assists, 379 digs, 131 kills and 66 aces … Helped Martinsville win consecutive conference championships in 2020 and 2021, while also winning sections in 2020 … Was a junior and senior all star and one of the IHSSA Best and Brightest … He was also an All-Indiana selection and a Mid-State Scholar … Played club volleyball for the Circle City Purple 18-1s Mafia under head coach Scott McQueen … Has an athletic family as two of her sisters play volleyball and IUPUI and Franklin College, while her brother is currently playing soccer with Rose Hulman.

Head coach Matt Botsford on Reynolds:

“Grace is a highly decorated prep setter with a lot of high profile competitions. She is a competitor and knows how to win. Her athleticism in the position is what she can use for her attackers early on.” this speed and strength. Grace is a phenomenal floor defender too, in addition to her ability to manage the net very well as a blocker. The combined skills she brings to the hiring role will allow Grace to make a huge impact on the next level and I am very much looking forward to working with her. “

The Eagles have had a historic season in which the FGCU set an overall record of 27-6 en route to the ASUN championship title and a spot in the NCAA tournament. In the first round of the NCAA, the Greens and Blues were able to overtake Texas Tech, but fell in the second round against eventual national champions Wisconsin. The championship title and NCAA spot was the second time in program history (2018) that the Eagles achieved both.

The 27 wins set the program record alongside the teams from 2016 and 2018, while the FGCU also posted its best RPI of all time in 31st place over the course of the year. For the past five seasons, the Eagles have ranked 12ththat most wins of any team in the country with 144, which is more than Stanford, Penn State and Washington but just behind Wisconsin and Minnesota.

The Eagles will bring back 12 newbies in the coming season, including three of their top five point producers.

For full coverage of the volleyball program, follow the Eagles on Twitter at @FGCU_VB, on Instagram at @FGCU_VB, on Facebook at / FGCUVolleyball and online at FGCUathletics.com. You can also subscribe to receive news about FGCU volleyball or other programs straight to your inbox by visiting www.fgcuathletics.com/email.


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Matt Botsford is in his eighth season as the head coach of the FGCU women’s volleyball program in 2021, having been hired on February 10, 2014. During his tenure, the Botsford-led teams set an overall record of 184-59 (0.757), including a 96-20 (.827) record on ASUN rendition. Including last year’s unprecedented spring season, it has taken the program to heights it hasn’t seen in the Division I era (2007-present) – totaling at least 20 wins in six of the last seven seasons and at least 10 wins in conference play too every season. In 2018, he led the program to his first regular season championship since 2012 (fourth overall) and his very first ASUN tournament title, NCAA tournament appearance, NCAA tournament win, and victory over a ranked team. His first two campaigns resulted in a runner-up in the ASUN regular season, and in the following two the Eagles rose to the tournament championship for the spring of 2021 season. On September 10, 2016, Botsford led his team to a five-set win against Indiana at Alico Arena, marking the program’s first win against a team from a Power 5 conference. In 2018, he led the team to a win over Miami, Fla. – the program’s first ever Road Power 5 win, and the Eagles followed in 2019 with a neutral location win over the Hurricanes in a straight set.

FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to help the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), the FGCU Athletics charities. For more information, including how you can contribute, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and use the hashtag #FeedFGCU to raise awareness.

FGCU teams have come together to win an incredible 87 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 14 seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of DI postseason eligibility, the Eagles have combined 43 teams or individuals to compete in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have achieved a national top 25 placement in their respective sport – including women’s basketball (No. 25, 2021-22), beach volleyball (No. 20, 2021) and both men’s football (2018, 2019) and women’s football ( 2018) as three of the youngest. In 2016-17, the Greens and Blues achieved a division-top sixth place in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and the top 100 finishes nationally, ahead of several Power 5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles received an ASUN and Florida State‘s top seven teams that received the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their rate of academic progression in their sport. The FGCU also hit an overall classroom record of 3.50 GPA in the fall semester of 2020, outperforming the general university student population for 24 consecutive semesters. Another milestone was reached in autumn 2019, spring 2020, autumn 2020 and spring 2021, as all 15 programs each achieved a team GPA of 3.0 or higher. The Eagles also did 7,200 all-time volunteer hours in 2017 and were named one of two runners-up for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.


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