Nov. 21, 2009

Courtesy of Tampa

TAMPA, Fla. – The No. 6 University of Tampa volleyball team won its 12th NCAA Division II South Regional with a 3-0 sweep of Saint Leo University. The top-seed won by scores of 25-23, 25-20, 25-19 over the second seed.The No. 6 University of Tampa volleyball team won its 12th NCAA Division II South Regional with a 3-0 sweep of Saint Leo University. The top-seed won by scores of 25-23, 25-20, 25-19 over the second seed.

UT set the pace with a win in a tight first set. After trailing 9-6, UT battled back to tie the score at 15 apiece. Tampa then went on an 8-3 run to take a 23-18 advantage. The Lions regrouped to take five of the next six points before UT’s Kaleigh Cunningham closed the frame with a kill for the Spartans.

Tampa never trailed in the final two sets and took a commanding 8-2 lead in the third. The Lions refused to give in, going on a 5-1 run with UT leading 23-15. The Spartan offense, led by Sunshine State Conference Player of the Year Melissa Vanderhall, was too much as the junior from Hempstead, N.Y., fittingly closed out the match with a kill for Tampa.

Vanderhall led Tampa with 18 kills, concluding the regional as the team leader in kills in all three matches. Eva Dupay added a career high 10 kills while getting the start. Kaleigh Cunningham also chipped in nine kills for the Spartans as Meghan Sherman led the way with 40 assists.

Julie Howlett turned in a team-high 15 digs as Vanderhall added 12 to complete the double-double. Dupay led UT with four blocks, including two solos as Sam Macks also contributed three blocks.

Tampa advances to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight, which is slated for Dec. 3-5 as a site to be announced.

Visit www.tampaspartans.com for up to date information on Spartan athletics. Fans may follow University of Tampa athletics on Twitter (www.twitter.com/utspartans) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/tampaspartans). UT also offers eScores, which is a free text messaging service that sends text alerts following all Spartan events.

2009 NCAA South Regional All-Tournament Team
Lydee Benoit, Eckerd
Emily Calderon-Reyes, Saint Leo
Kaleigh Cunningham, Tampa
Eva Dupay, Tampa
Patricia Gandolfo, West Florida
Kaitlin McKenna, Saint Leo
Jamie Nichols, West Florida
Michelle Nogueras, Saint Leo
Bruna Rocha, Saint Leo
Danielle Selkridge, Tampa
Meghan Sherman, Tampa
Melissa Vanderhall, Tampa