Dec. 2, 2010
LOUISVILLE, Ky. − Tampa turned in a dominating performance Thursday in besting Grand Valley State, 3-0, to advance to the semifinals of the NCAA Division II Women’s Volleyball Championship.
The No. 2 Spartans will meet either Wingate or Central Missouri for the right to play for the national title on Saturday. “I’m very excited to be advancing and proud of how our team played,” said Tampa Coach Chris Catanach. “When you advance, you sort of float along. Tonight was the stress match for everyone.” The Spartans (30-3) opened with flurry. After trading the first four points of the game for a 2-2 tie, Tampa reeled off 13 consecutive points. The Lakers fought back to within 20-10 but could get no closer as Tampa won the opener, 25-11.
In the second set, Grand Valley led 5-4, but that was the only time the Lakers edged in front. Tampa slowly stretched out into another double-digit lead to win going away, 25-14. The Spartans maintained the pressure in the third set as they scored six of the last eight points to win, 25-17. Tampa was led by Danielle Selkridge, who registered 13 kills and a .667 hitting percentage. Kaleigh Cunningham tallied 10 kills, and setter Meghan Sherman had 39 assists on Tampa’s 41 kills. The 12th-ranked Lakers, who finished 26-7, were led offensively by Rebeccah Rapin’s eight kills. Leslie Curtis recorded 10 digs for Grand Valley State.
Grand Valley State coach Deanne Scanlon gave all the credit to her opponent. “Tampa is an awesome team,” she said. “We couldn’t get them out of their system. We’re one of the top blocking teams in the country, and we got, what, one block?” Scanlon said she told her team to focus on the positive and “try to get back here again.”