TAMPA, Fla. – The University of Tampa Spartans defeat the Eckerd College Tritons in five sets in a home contest. The Spartans move to 11-7 in SSC play, while Eckerd falls to 8-10.
INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Final: Tampa 3, Eckerd 2 (22-25, 16-25, 25-20, 25-19, 15-11)
Records: Tampa Spartans (16-13, 11-7 SSC), Eckerd Tritons (15-11, 8-10 SSC)
Location: Bob Martinez Athletics Center | Tampa, Fla.
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HOW IT HAPPENED:
Set 1 | Eckerd took the first set 25-22 with UT almost able to hold them off. Nicole Dominguez had seven total attacks while middle blockers Alexandra Misca and Taylor Fosler each led UT on offense with four kills in the set. The Tritons had a slight dig advantage over the Spartans with nine, compared to UT who had eight. Eckerd relied heavily on Abbie O'Ferrell while setter Sammy Mueller did a nice job of getting multiple attackers involved. Mueller ended the set with twelve assists.
Set 2 | After a slow start for the Spartans, UT was always one step behind, and the Tritons came up on top with a set two victory of 25-16. Dominguez made a statement with five kills on 14 attempts in the set. However, Eckerd out-hit UT .333 to .114. Molly McAlvany suited up as the team's libero and came out strong for the Spartans with seven digs. Freshman, Sorrel Houghton also contributed to the Spartans offense with four kills on nine total attacks.
Set 3 | Tampa came out fired up in set three and managed to take the set with a score of 25-20. The attacking efforts of Houghton recording five kills and Dominguez notching three kills to lead UT in the set. Kasey Reynolds, Nylah Demps, and McAlvany each contributed two digs for the Spartans. Mueller eleven assists in the game. Tampa recovered from their set two attacking percentage ending the set hitting .391 as a team, compared to Eckerd who hit .219.
Set 4 | The fourth set was a back and forth battle between the two teams. However, UT came out on top 25-19 forcing the match to go to five sets. Houghton came alive for the Spartans with four kills on ten attacks. Additionally, the freshman contributed two digs in the set. Mueller logged eleven assists and three digs in the game, while Dominguez recorded three kills, an assist, and three digs. In the fourth set alone, Tampa had 14 kills to Eckerd's eight, 13 assists to the Tritons eight, and 15 digs, to EC's 12. The Spartans had gained momentum and carried their energy and fire into set five.
Set 5 | The fifth and final set was a nail-biter with back to back outstanding plays by both teams. However, it was the Spartans came out on top with a final score of 15-11. Houghton finished the match leading Tampa in kills with 19 and a kill percentage of .293. Following Houghton, was fellow outside hitter Dominguez with 14. Misca also contributed heavily to the Spartans victory with eight total kills at a .462 hitting percentage. McAlvany ended the match with a team-high of 12 digs, while Mueller ended the match with 47 total assists.
INSIDE THE STATS:
• Houghton led the team offensively with 19 kills on the night hitting .463, while also contributing five digs.
• Dominguez ended the match with a double-double for UT. She had14 kills in addition to earning 10 digs and three assists.
• Mueller tallied 47 assists in this match adding to her season total of 819.
• The Spartans outscored Eckerd 58-50 in kills, 57-50 in digs, and 9-7 in blocks.
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE:
• Tampa continued their win streak, extending it to six games now.
• Tampa leads the all-time series against the Tritons 91-2.
Tampa continues their 2017 season with a pair of road matches Friday and Saturday. On Friday the 17th, the Spartans will compete against the Barry Buccaneers in Miami Shores at 7:00 p.m. The team will then take the court again on Saturday the 18th against Nova Southeastern. This match is slated for 2:00 p.m. Live stats and a live video webcast will be provided through www.tampaspartans.com.
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