WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The No. 11 University of Tampa Spartans defeat the No. 18 Barry University Buccaneers in the second round of the NCAA South Regional. Tampa defeated Barry by set scores of 15-25, 25-22, 25-19, and 25-21. Tampa will advance to their first NCAA Regional Final for the first time since the 2014 season.
INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Final: No. 11 University of Tampa 3, No. 18 Barry University 1 (15-25, 25-22, 25-19, and 25-21)
Records: Tampa Spartans (29-4, 17-3 SSC) vs. Barry University Buccaneers (29-4, 17-3 SSC)
Location: Rubin Arena | West Palm Beach, Fla.
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HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Barry Buccaneers handily took the first set over the Spartans winning by a set score of 25-15. However, the Spartans continued to show grit and bit-by-bit came back to win the next three sets of the match. UT absolutely dominated in the third, at one point pulling ahead 20-10. Offensively, Katie McKiel paved the path to the NCAA Regional Final for the Spartans. The Colorado Springs, Colorado native logged a South Regional high of 22 kills on 62 total attempts. She ended the four-set match with an average kill percentage of .258, in addition to recording 15 digs for Tampa. Following her efforts were that of fellow classman and pin hitter Sorrel Houghton who had 11 kills and junior middle blocker Taylor Fosler who ended the match with nine. Sammy Mueller recorded 42 assists for the Spartans, while Nicole Dominguez stated a team high of 19 digs. Fosler and Mueller also dominated net play, with seven and six block assists respectively. Statistically, Tampa and Barry ended the match pretty evenly. Both teams ended with a total of 52 kills, they each had 49 assists, and Barry actually out-dug the Spartans 87-78. However, the Spartans earned a better team hitting percentage than the Buccaneers, .198 to .153 respectively.
INSIDE THE STATS:
• Alexandra Misca led Tampa with three service aces, in addition to her seven digs, five kills, and five block assists.
• Katie McKiel logged a South Regional high of 22 kills. She stated her 19thdouble-double of the 2018 season.
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE:
The Spartans lead the all-time series over the Buccaneers 55-17. This was the third meeting between the two teams this season, with the two splitting during the regular season.
The Spartans will take the court again tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. as they advance to the NCAA South Regional Final. They will take on the winner of the match between Palm Beach Atlantic and Florida Southern. This is Tampa's first NCAA Regional Final since the 2014 season. Live stats and a live video webcast will be provided through www.tampaspartans.com.
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