FORT MYERS After winning the Atlantic Sun regular season title and securing the No. 1 seed in the A-Sun Conference Tournament, the FGCU volleyball team (22-9, 16-2 A-Sun) landed a pair of student-athletes on the All-Conference teams and saw head coach Dave Nichols earn Coach of the Year honors, as the conference office announced its postseason awards on Tuesday.
Highlighting the postseason accolades, Nichols earned his first A-Sun Coach of the Year. The Green and Blue also landed two players on the All-Conference first team.
Nichols led the Eagles to their third regular season title since joining the A-Sun in 2007. Prior to their loss to ETSU on Nov. 2, Nichols, who owns an 85-62 record in his five years at FGCU, guided the Eagles to a 15-game win streak, tying them for the second-longest win streak in the nation.
"I am honored to represent the Atlantic Sun Conference as the Coach of the Year," Nichols said. "I am truly humbled by the selection, but it is really a reflection of my outstanding assistant coaches, Danny Mahy and Audrey Campbell, and the incredibly talented group of student athletes that I have the great fortune to coach. This award really belongs to the team."
In her second year on campus, sophomore Jill Hopper has been a dominant force on the court, earning a unanimous All-Conference first team nod. Hopper leads the Eagles in kills (2.94), points (370) and service aces (36) and is ranked second in the A-Sun in service aces and sixth in kills in A-Sun matches. The Muncie, Ind. native, who has recorded 10 double-doubles this season, ranks 60th in the nation in aces per set.
Junior Kaitlin Holm joined Hopper on the All-Conference first team. Holm, who was named to a pair of All-Tournament teams this season (UF Tournament, Wyoming Cowgirl Classic), is hitting .253 and has racked up 259 kills and 76 total blocks on the season. The Fort Myers product, hit .305 in conference matches to rank seventh in the A-Sun.