PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The University of Tampa Spartans are the NCAA Division II NATIONAL CHAMPIONS! The No. 1 seed, Spartans, defeated the No. 3 seed, Western Washington University Vikings, in a five-set thriller to win the title. Tampa won the title by set scores of 21-25, 25-18, 21-25, 25-23, and 15-11. This is the third volleyball title and the 16thoverall NCAA championship for Tampa.
INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Final: No. 1 University of Tampa 3, No. 3 Western Washington University 2 (21-25, 25-18, 21-25, 25-23, and 15-11)
Records: Tampa Spartans (33-4, 17-3 SSC) vs. Western Washington Vikings (30-4, 20-0 GNAC)
Location: A.J. Palumbo Center | Pittsburgh, Pa.
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HOW IT HAPPENED:
NATIONAL CHAMPIONS! The University of Tampa Spartans defeated the Western Washington University Vikings in their seventh national championship appearance by set scores of 21-25, 25-18, 21-25, 25-23, and 15-11. The Spartans win the title, National Champions, for the third time in program history, the first since 2014. Sammy Mueller, your national tournament Most Outstanding Player, dissed out 46 assists in addition to logging 11 digs and two service aces for the Spartans. Helping Mueller receive this accolade were other all-tournament selections, Taylor Fosler, Alexandra Misca, and Katie McKiel. Four Spartans had 10 or more kills in the match for Tampa. These players included Sorrel Houghton (17), Misca (13), McKiel (13), and Nylah Demps (10). Fosler ended the match with nine and freshman Sarah Luoma recorded three. The most efficient hitter on the night was Luoma hitting .750, followed by Misca who hit an outstanding .524 on 21 total attempts. Houghton ended the championship game with a .244 hitting percentage, Demps a .185, Fosler a .143, and McKiel a .119. Libero Nicole Dominguez played lights out for the Spartans, recording a team-high of 21 digs and two service aces. Freshman Claudia Rivera followed Dominguez in digs with 19, and sophomore Melissa Elias stated 15. Alexandra Misca led the defensive efforts at the net, earning a team-high and season-high of 11 blocks, followed by Houghton with eight.
The Spartans ended the match with 65 kills, 63 assists, and 87 digs. The team's hitting percentage was .214, and they had a side out efficiency of 60.8%. The Spartans also recorded both three more aces (five total) and three more blocks (16 total) than the Vikings.
Tampa ends the 2018 season NATIONAL CHAMPIONS.
INSIDE THE STATS:
• Due to their outstanding performances during the national tournament, four Spartans received all-tournament honors. Sammy Mueller was awarded the Most Outstanding Player, while Katie McKiel, Alexandra Misca, and Taylor Fosler were named to the all-tournament team.
• Two Spartans recorded double-doubles in the match. Sammy Mueller picked up her 18thof the season with 46 assists and 11 digs. Alexandra Misca picked up her first and final as a Spartan with 13 kills and 11 blocks.
• Misca also logged a season-high in kills with 13.
• This is Tampa's third national title in program history. The Spartans also won in 2006 and 2014.
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE:
Tampa leads the all-time series against the Vikings 3-0.
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