FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The fifth-ranked University of Tampa Spartans volleyball (11-1, 2-0) outlasted the No. 23 Nova Southeastern Sharks (9-6, 1-2) 3-1 in a hard-fought match. The Spartans pick up its second consecutive SSC road victory by scores of 25-22, 20-25, 25-20, 25-21. The win is the fourth over a ranked opponent this season.
In game one, Tampa relied on the usual combination of Melissa Vanderhall and Jessica Yingling to get an early lead and maintained it to a 25-22 win. Vanderhall put down seven kills on 11 attempts and no errors, whereas Yingling had six on a .364 attack percentage.
The second set did not go as well for the Spartans as they were limited to just a .163 mark while the Sharks raced to a 9-3 advantage. Tampa would manage to bring the game to within one at 18-17, until a Lucia Cizmarova kill sparked a 7-3 run to give NSU a 25-20 decision.
It was back and forth once again in the third frame as Tampa led 16-15, then went on a 7-0 run on its way to a 25-20 win. UT sealed the match with a 25-21 win in the fourth.
Vanderhall finished with the most kills for the Spartans with 17 on .395, reaching double-digits for the fifth consecutive game and the tenth time this season. Yingling followed suit with another double-double performance as she tallied 16 kills and 10 digs. Kaleigh Cunningham turned in a double-double effort as well as she drove home 11 kills and 14 scoops. Setter Meghan Sherman put down six kills and tied a career high in assists with 52.
Sophomore Julie Howlett paced the back row with a career-best 22 digs. Sherman added nine digs as Tampa finished with 67 for the match. Vanderhall had a hand in three blocks and the team finished with six. The Sharks put up six blocks as well and out-dug the Spartans with 68.
NSU put up a better attack percentage then UT with a .306-.303 advantage as Molly Sigerich led all Sharks in kills and percentage with 15 on .444.
Tampa returns to action as they go on the road again to Rollins College (11-4, 0-2) on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. match. UT will offer live stats through www.tampaspartans.com. Fans may follow University of Tampa athletics on Twitter (www.twitter.com/utspartans) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/tampaspartans). UT also offers eScores, which is a free text messaging service that sends text alerts following all Spartan events.