Tampa Falls in NCAA Volleyball Semifinals
Tampa saw its run at the NCAA Division II Volleyball Championship come to an end on Friday in San Bernardino, Calif. The Spartans fell to defending national champion Concordia-St.Paul in four sets to conclude their season with a 33-2 record.
NCAA SEMIFINAL RECAP
Tampa's postseason run came to a halt in Friday's semifinal round of the NCAA DII Volleyball Championship, with the Spartans falling to Concordia-St. Paul 23-25, 25-14, 25-18, 25-13. UT's fortunes were nearly opposite Thursday's dominant quarterfinal performance, with the Spartans struggling to a .144 attack percentage, while the Golden Bears tallied an impressive .371 team clip.
Danielle Selkridge, Holly Reschke, and Meagan Burke each tallied 10 kills for UT. Kahley Patrick doled out 36 assists.
The contest was a rematch of last year's NCAA championship final, which Concordia-St. Paul also won in four sets in Louisville, Ky.
NCAA QUARTERFINAL RECAP
Tampa showed no ill effects from a weeklong layoff in Thursday's quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II Volleyball Championship. The Spartans rolled to a 25-16, 25-18, 25-8 win over Bridgeport to advance to Friday's semifinals where they will play Concordia-St. Paul. UT lost to the same squad in last year's DII volleyball final.
Danielle Selkridge led Tampa with nine kills in the quarterfinal win. Camille Hanks chipped in seven kills with a whopping .875 attack percentage. Kahley Patrick dished out 26 assists, while Julie Howlett gathered 13 digs.
As a team, the Spartans posted a solid .361 hitting percentage, while Bridgeport registered an abysmal -.023 clip.
REGIONAL FINAL RECAP
Tampa swept past Eckerd on Saturday at the 2011 NCAA DII South Region Volleyball Championship in Tampa to advance to the Elite Eight.
Having begun the regional tournament with a pair of five-set marathons, Eckerd ran out of steam in Saturday's final and dropped a straight-set match to top-seed and host Tampa. Danielle Selkridge fueled the Spartan attack with 15 kills on a .520 attack percentage. Eva Dupay contributed 10 kills to the UT effort, and Kahley Patrick doled out 35 assists. Arianna Chinn's 12 kills paced Eckerd, while Lindsay Biggs chipped in 11 kills.
Tampa's victory sends the Spartans into the NCAA quarterfinals, which will be played on Thursday, Dec. 1, at a location to be determined. UT will play Bridgeport in the Elite Eight showdown.
No. 2 Eckerd and No. 3 Rollins battled to two five-set marathons in the SSC regular season with each team winning on their home court. On Friday, the teams again dueled in a thrilling five-set contest, and this time, it was Eckerd winning on a neutral court in the regional semifinal. Lindsay Biggs came up huge for the Tritons, collecting a career-high 21 kills and 13 digs. Hallie Ward had a stellar defensive effort, gathering 33 digs in the contest. Kelly Merideth paced Rollins with 16 kills and 13 digs. Kiana Parks tallied 50 assists.
With their victory, the Tritons will face top-seeded Tampa in Saturday's regional final, as the Spartans rolled to a three-set win over No. 4 Florida Southern. Danielle Selkridge led UT with 12 kills and five blocks. Gabby Fernandez was the bright spot for the Moccasins, posting 13 kills.
Eckerd and Tampa split their regular-season SSC matches, with UT taking the first meeting 3-1 and EC handing the Spartans their only loss of the season in a five-set affair. The winner of tomorrow's match will advance to the NCAA DII Elite Eight.
Thursday's first three South Region quarterfinals were hard-fought, close battles, with Rollins, Eckerd, and Florida Southern prevailing to advance. In the late match, Tampa rolled to a straight-set win over Kentucky State.
In the opening match, No. 3 Rollins defeated No. 6 North Alabama 3-1. Megan Hodges led the Tars with 22 kills and nine digs. Kiana Parks dished out 47 assists.
No. 2 Eckerd staved off No. 7 Christian Brothers 3-2 in the second contest. Lindsay Biggs paced the Tritons with a double-double, posting 14 kills and 11 digs. Bri Smith tallied 39 digs, and Hallie Ward collected 21 digs.
The third match was also a barn-burner, with No. 4 Florida Southern squeaking out a 3-2 decision over No. 5 West Florida. Gabby Fernandez led the Moccasins with 16 kills. Ali Skayhan registered 42 assists, while Anna Niebuhr scooped up 20 digs.
The top-seeded Spartans didn't have to expend much energy in racing past No. 8 Kentucky State 3-0 in the night cap. The Thorobreds did most of the damage to themselves with a skimpy .028 team hitting percentage that paled in comparison to UT's whopping .469 team clip. Eva Dupay led the Spartans with seven kills and six digs. Kahley Patrick had 19 assists.
With every SSC team taking care of business, Friday's regional semifinals will be an All-SSC affair. No. 2 Eckerd and No. 3 Rollins will square off at 5 p.m. No. 1 Tampa will take on No. 4 Florida Southern at 7:30 p.m.
The NCAA announced the field of 64 teams that will play for the 2011 NCAA Division II Women's Volleyball Championship, and Tampa has been tabbed as a top seed and host for the South Region. The Spartans will host the regional tournament Nov. 17-19.
Four SSC teams received invitations to compete in the NCAA postseason. Eckerd, Rollins, and Florida Southern will join UT in the field.
No. 3 Rollins will kick things off with a match against No. 6 North Alabama at noon on Thursday. No. 2 Eckerd will face No. 7 Christian Brothers at 2:30 p.m. No. 4 Florida Southern and No. 5 West Florida will tangle at 5 p.m. Tampa will entertain No. 8 Kentucky State in the night cap at 7:30 p.m.
The winner of the South Regional will advance to the NCAA Elite Eight, which will be held at a campus site to be determined.
By virtue of winning its seventh straight SSC title, Tampa earned the automatic bid from the Sunshine State Conference. West Florida received the Gulf South's automatic bid, while Kentucky State was the SIAC's automatic qualifier.
Tickets may be purchased at the gate for $10 (adults) and $6 (students with ID/senior citizens). Children under the age of five shall be admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.
UT will offer live stats and a video webcast for each of the NCAA South Regional matches.
NCAA SOUTH REGION CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Game 1: No. 3 Rollins 3, No. 6 North Alabama 1
Game 2: No. 2 Eckerd 3, No. 7 Christian Brothers 2
Game 3: No. 4 Florida Southern 3, No. 5 West Florida 2
Game 4: No. 1 Tampa 3, No. 8 Kentucky State 0
Friday, November 18, 2011
No. 2 Eckerd 3, No. 3 Rollins 2
No. 1 Tampa 3, No. 4 Florida Southern 0
Saturday, November 19, 2011
No. 1 Tampa 3, No. 2 Eckerd 0
* Box scores for each match appear on UT's host website.