Nov. 21, 2008

TAMPA, Fla.  - The Nova Southeastern University volleyball team overcame a two to nothing set deficit to beat Saint Leo University in five sets to advance to the NCAA Division II South Regional Finals in action on Saturday evening. NSU, who won 28-30, 18-25, 25-15, 25-23 and 15-12, will now play the winner of the University of Tampa/University of West Florida match on Saturday, November 22nd at 7pm in Tampa, Fla. The Sharks and Lions battled in the first set before Saint Leo came way with the 30-28 victory. The set, which saw 17 ties and 10 lead changes, had six set points before a victor would emerge. The Sharks were out-hit .333 to .150. Senior middle blocker Emily Carle (Missouri City, Tex.) and junior outside hitter Jenerra McGruder (Euless, Tex.) paced the Sharks with five kills apiece. Freshman middle Molly Sigerich (Downers Grove, Ill.) added four kills and three blocks. The Lions were led by middle Danielle Bletso with five kills.

Saint Leo hit a match high .350 to take command of the second set, winning 25-18. Middle blocker Kaitlin McKenna had a set high seven kills for the Lions while senior outside hitter Christina Chubb (Oakland Park, Fla.) had a set high four kills for NSU.

Nova Southeastern regrouped to have the set of their season, tallying 23 kills out of the 25 points to win 25-15. NSU hit a season high .629 in the set, led by Carle and outside hitter Paola Ruiz (So., Rio Piedras, P.R.), who were each a perfect five-for-five on attack attempts. Gorman posted seven kills to lead all players. Senior setter Valia Petrova (Sofia, Bulgaria) distributed a set high 16 assists to go along with two kills and three digs. Bletso had three kills for Saint Leo, who hit .219 as a team in the set.

The Sharks carried the momentum over into the fourth set, never trailing en route to a 25-23 win. NSU out-hit Saint Leo .229 to .200. Carle and Gorman continued their outstanding play, adding four kills apiece. NSU libero Kathleen Yony (So., Miami, Fla.) had a set high seven digs. McKenna led the Lions with five kills.

Nova Southeastern had their eye on the prize in the fifth set, finishing off the Lions 15-12. Leading 14-12, Carle put the finishing touches on the match, slamming home a kill after an extended rally to send her team into a frenzy. The Sharks out-hit Saint Leo .304 to .130, led by Carle and Gorman with three kills each.

For the match, NSU out-hit Saint Leo .294 to .256. The Sharks registered 21 more kills, 18 more assists, four more aces, 11 more digs and 23 more total points.

Carle set a new career high with 20 kills in the match to lead NSU to victory. She hit .400 and also had an assist, five digs and one block.

Gorman set a new season high with 18 kills, hitting .265. She added two assists, four aces, 19 digs and three blocks.

Petrova set a new season high with 61 assists. She also added four kills, two aces, and 11 digs.

Sigerich tallied 13 kills and five blocks. Ruiz contributed with nine kills and a .353 attack percentage while Chubb posted seven kills and three block assists. McGruder also had seven kills for NSU.

Yony and NSU defensive specialist Alison Kalish (Jr., Miami, Fla.) came up with 18 and five digs, respectively.

NSU now awaits the winner of the University of Tampa/ University of West Florida match for the NCAA South Regional title at 7 pm on Saturday, Nov. 21st in Tampa, Fla.