Spartans Defeat Buccaneers in Five Set Thriller

Spartans Defeat Buccaneers in Five Set Thriller

TAMPA, Fla. – The University of Tampa Spartans defeated the Barry University Buccaneers three sets to two, with scores of 25-13, 23-25, 25-23, 26-28, and 15-9. The Spartans move to 6-4 in the SSC, while the Buccaneers fall to 4-6.  

INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Final: Tampa 3, Barry University 2  (25-13, 23-25, 25-23, 26-28, 15-9)
Records: Tampa Spartans (11-10, 6-4 SSC), Barry University Buccaneers (8-7, 4-6 SSC)
Location: Bob Martinez Athletics Center | Tampa, Fla.
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HOW IT HAPPENED:
Set 1 | UT took the first set pretty easily 25-13. This was mainly due to the team's aggressive serving and the fact that they were able to spread the offense while also establishing multiple offensive threats early. Tampa had four service aces, while Barry had zero. Two of the aces were rewarded to setter Sammy Mueller, who also had 11 assists and three digs in the set. The other two aces were logged by sophomore outside hitter, Nicole Dominguez, who additionally had three kills at an outstanding .750 hitting percentage, and two digs in the set. Three different Spartans led Tampa on offense. Freshman outside, Sorrel Houghton had four kills hitting .375, while middle blockers Taylor Fosler and Courtney Vogler also had four kills each at a .800 and 1.000 kill percentage respectively. Molly McAlvany suited up as Tampa's starting libero and led the way on defense with a team-high of six digs in the set.
Set 2 | In the second game, Fosler once again led the UT offense with four kills at a .429 kill percentage, followed by Dominguez with three. McAlvany stated the team's only ace, in addition to earning four digs in the back row. Defensive specialist Kaitlyn Ajmani also dug the Buccaneers on four different occasions. Once again, Mueller acted as the sole setter for Tampa and ended the set with nine assists, 17 total. Heading into intermission, Barry was able to slip past Tampa, with a game score of 25-23.
Set 3 | Following intermission, Houghton was the Spartan who lit up the court on offense. She had eight kills in the third hitting .333. Dominguez also hit .333 in the set, adding three kills to the Spartans offensive efforts. Additionally, Dominguez also picked up four digs, just behind McAlvany, who led the team with six. Mueller once again quarterbacked the offense, recording her most assists in this set with eight, in addition to earning another service ace for the Spartans. Alexandra Misca checked into the match as a middle blocker in this game. In doing so she logged two kills on three attempts hitting .667.  Tampa took the third set 25-23.
Set 4 | Despite a hard-fought battle, Tampa could not stop Barry's Kristina Filimonova who had six kills for the Buccaneers. On Tampa's side of the net, it was Houghton who led the offense with four kills, followed by Dominguez and Misca with three. Defensive specialists Ajmani and Kasey Reynolds each earned four digs for the Spartans, however, it was Mueller who led the team defensively with six digs. McAlvany picked up two more aces for the Spartans, however, Tampa was unable to close out the game and lost to the Bucs 28-26.
Set 5 | In the fifth and final set, UT was fast to start making all the difference in their 15-9 victory. Houghton, Demps and Dominguez led the attacking efforts with three, two and two kills respectively. Dominguez also led the defensive efforts for Tampa with three digs. The Spartans were also able to pick up two blocks during this set, while Barry had zero. Tampa ended the weekend 2-0 and looks to continue its season with a winning record.

INSIDE THE STATS:
Sorrel Houghton had a career, season, and team-high of 21 kills in the match. This marked her first time earing 20 or more kills, and her seventh time earning more than 10 kills in a match.
Nicole Dominguez earned a double-double with 14 kills and 13 digs. This was her seventh double-double of the season.
Sammy Mueller stated her third double-double of the season, with 48 assists and 15 digs. This was also her season-high in both assists and digs.  
Molly McAlvany had a season and team-high of four service aces in one match. Additionally, this was the third time this season she recorded 15 or more digs in a match.   

BEYOND THE BOXSCORE:
• Tampa leads the all-time series against the Buccaneers 52-16. The Spartans last loss to the Bucs dates back to October of 2008.

UP NEXT:
Tampa will continue the 2017 season with two mid-week road matches against the St. Leo Lions on Tuesday the 24th, and against the Fighting Knights of Lynn University on Thursday the 26th.  Live stats and a live video webcast will be provided through www.tampaspartans.com

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