BOCA RATON, Fla. – The University of Tampa Spartans fall to the Lynn University Fighting Knights in four sets, with scores of 25-23, 27-25, 14-25 and 25-21. The Fighting Knights move to 4-8 in the SSC, while the Spartans fall to 6-6.
INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Final: Lynn University 3, University of Tampa 1 (25-23, 27-25, 14-25, 25-21)
Records: Tampa Spartans (11-12, 6-6 SSC), Lynn University Knights (6-12, 4-8 SSC)
Location: De Hoernle Sports & Cultural Center | Boca Raton, Fla.
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HOW IT HAPPENED:
Set 1 | The Lynn Fighting Knights took the first set 25-23. The very first point of the match was a kill from Alexandra Misca, who went on to have three more in the set and hit .429. Matching the offensive efforts of Misca, was freshman outside Sorrel Houghton. Houghton also had four kills, hitting .222 in the set. The Spartans used Sammy Mueller as their setter, and Molly McAlvany as the libero. Mueller dished out 14 assists while McAlvany led Tampa on defense with six digs. Nylah Demps logged the Spartans only service ace of the set. Ultimately, the Knights had a little more fight in the first set, with an advantage in blocks and team hitting percentage, five to two, and .209 to .125 respectively.
Set 2 | In the second, once again the Spartans were the first team to score with a jaw-dropping kill from Houghton. Houghton went on to really be the Spartans only offensive threat in the second set, with nine kills on 16 attempts hitting .500… .400 on the match heading into intermission. Senior Kasey Reynolds suited up as libero for the Spartans, earning two digs, behind the defensive efforts of outside Shelby Joslin who led the team with five. Mueller continued to run the offense for UT, adding 10 more assists to her stats in addition to have one of the team's two service aces. Freshman Melissa Elias checked into the match for UT, logging the Spartan's other service ace. However, the Fighting Knights out battled Tampa at the end of the second, winning the set 27-25.
Set 3 | Following intermission, Coach Chris Catanach went back to his original lineup, with the exception of moving freshman Kaitlyn Ajmani to the libero position. Ajmani and Nicole Dominguez each dug the Fighting Knights on five separate occasions, making it hard for Lynn to score and frustrating the Knight's hitters. Mueller did a nice job of making sure multiple attackers were established early in the game and stated 11 assists. Houghton, Dominguez, and Misca had five, four and three kills respectively. Hitting .500, .444, and .750 respectively in the set. Molly McAlvany was used as a defensive specialist for the Spartans, stating four digs in addition to the team's only service ace in the set. UT ran away with the momentum, defeating the Knights in the third 25-14.
Set 4 | Heading into the fourth game, Tampa was led offensively by freshman Sorrel Houghton with 18 kills hitting an outstanding .424. Still unstoppable in the fourth, she logged six more kills, ending the match hitting .465… absolutely incredible for an outside hitter. Misca followed the efforts of Houghton, ending the match with 10 kills for the Spartans. Ajmani continued at the libero position picking up six more digs to end the set with 19. Mueller remained the setter, quarterbacking the offense and ending the match with 48 assists, while senior Jen Aprile received UT's only ace of the game. Despite Tampa having the statistical advantage in nearly every category, somehow the Lynn Fighting Knights managed to finish the job and took the match with a final set score of 25-21.
INSIDE THE STATS:
• Sorrel Houghton had a career, season, and team-high of 24 kills in the match. This marked her second time earing 20 or more kills, and her eighth time earning more than 10 kills in a match.
• Sammy Mueller tied her season-high of 48 assists.
• Alexandra Misca had a season-high of 10 kills, hitting .444 on the match.
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE:
• Tampa leads the all-time series against the Fighting Knights 41-3. This season the Tampa Spartans split with the Lynn Fighting Knights, each team winning at their respective schools.
Tampa will continue the 2017 season Tuesday the 31st with a home match against SSC rival Florida Southern. The match is slated to start at 7:00 pm, be sure to come out to Bob Martinez Athletics Center to cheer on your Spartans. Live stats and a live video webcast will be provided through www.tampaspartans.com.
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