TAMPA – Tampa won a regional title as it defeated Eckerd in three sets (25-23, 25-20, 25-16) and in the process, reached its third coneseuctive NCAA quarterfinal
Tampa improved to 32-1, while ending the Tritons’ season at a 27-5 record.
Defeating Eckerd was a season obstacle for Tampa, as the Tritons handed it its only loss on Oct. 28. Tampa rebounded with a quick three-set match, led by middle hitter Danielle Selkridge.
Selkridge continued her award winning season by leading the team with 15 kills. She was also supported by outside hitters Eva Dupay and Jessica Yingling. Dupay connected for 10 kills in her final home game at UT, while the junior Yingling added 9 kills and led the team with 9 digs.
A total 38 digs by the Spartans limited Eckerd to just a .238 attack percentage. The Tritons were led by Ariana Chinna, hitting 12 of 25 on the game, and libero Hallie Ward, with 12 digs.
The first set was the closest between the two conference rivals. Outside hitter Lindsay Biggs pushed the Tritons with eight kills and a .429 attack percentage. UT kept pace and pulled ahead by winning the final two points after the score was tied at 23. Yingling provided the final kill to give the Spartans extra momentum leading into the second set.
The Spartans pulled away in the second set after the score was tied at 16. Tampa took five consecutive points with freshman Megan Burke serving in that stretch. Sunshine State Conference player of the year Selkridge led the Spartans again, going 5 of 10 on the set as UT pulled away for a 25-20 win.
Tampa finished off the Tritons season with a quick third set. Eckerd had its weakest set by hitting at just a .107 clip while Tampa provided its strongest. Swinging at .500, the Spartans took an early lead and never let go.