Spartans Reel in the No. 6 PBA Sailfish

Spartans Reel in the No. 6 PBA Sailfish

TAMPA, Fla. – The University of Tampa Spartans upset the No. 6 Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish three sets to two, with scores of 15-25, 23-25, 25-20, 26-24, and 23-21. The Spartans move to 8-7 in the SSC, while the Sailfish fall to 14-3. 

INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Final: Tampa 3, Palm Beach Atlantic 2  (15-25, 23-25, 25-20, 26-24, 23-21)
Records: Tampa Spartans (13-13, 8-7 SSC), Palm Beach Atlantic (22-3, 14-3 SSC)
Location: Bob Martinez Athletics Center | Tampa, Fla.
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HOW IT HAPPENED:
Set 1 | PBA took the first set 25-15. The Spartans could not seem to terminate anything on offense. The Sailfish hit .216 as a team compared to UT who hit -.071. Additionally, PBA recorded 23 digs, while UT only logged 15. Sorrel Houghton and Nicole Dominguez each had two kills in the set. Freshman Kaitlyn Ajmani suited up as libero for Tampa and led the team on defense with five digs, while Sammy Mueller stated five assists as the team's starting setter.

Set 2 | In the second game, Tampa shook the nerves and began to compete. However, despite their best efforts PBA still came out on top with a set score of 25-23. Dominguez continued to lead UT on offense logging three more kills, followed by Houghton and Taylor Fosler who each had two. Mueller recorded six assists in the set, in addition to leading the team in digs with four.

Set 3 | Following intermission, the Spartans came out of the locker room determined not to fall without putting up a fight. Tampa started strong, and came out with a 9-3 lead causing PBA to take a timeout. Freshman Nylah Demps had a couple HUGE swings for the Spartans enhancing the momentum of the team. The Spartans pulled away with a set score of 25-20.

Set 4 | With the momentum on Tampa's side of the net, the Spartans continued to play lights out in the fourth. It was evident that there was much more effort and purpose behind each touch that Tampa made. With everyone in Bob Martinez on the edge of their seats, Tampa won the fourth with a final score of 26-24.

Set 5 | The fifth and final set was a nail-biter, with the pendulum of momentum swinging back and forth to each side of the net. Tampa came out with an early lead and was the first to eight when the teams switched sides of the net. However, PBA refused to quit and clawed their way back into contention. Having to win by two, the teams battled to a final score of 23-21, with Tampa coming out on top. Houghton ended the match leading Tampa's offense with 20 kills in the match, followed by Dominguez with 16, Demps with 13, and Fosler with 11. The unsung hero of the match was libero Kaitlyn Ajmani, who kept Tampa alive on multiple occasions, ending the match with a team-high of 18 digs. Two Spartans registered double-doubles. Dominguez who, in addition to her 16 kills had 13 digs, and Mueller who ended with 48 assists and 16 digs.  It should also be noted how awesome Tampa's defense was in the fifth set. In addition to Ajmani and Dominguez, credit should be given to defensive specialists Kasey Reynolds and Marisa Beisner who logged eight and six digs respectively.

INSIDE THE STATS:
Nicole Dominguez earned a double-double with 16 kills and 13 digs. This was her ninth double-double of the season.
Sammy Mueller stated her fifth double-double of the season, with a 48 assists and 18 digs.
Sorrel Houghton recorded 20 or more kills for the third time this season.  

BEYOND THE BOXSCORE:
• Tampa leads the all-time series against Palm Beach Atlantic 9-4. The Spartans split with the Sailfish this season.

UP NEXT:
Tampa will continue the 2017 season November 7, with a home showdown against the Embry-Riddle Eagles. The match is slated to start at 7:00 p.m. and will take place at the Bob Martinez Athletics Center. Live stats and a live video webcast will be provided through www.tampaspartans.com

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