WEST HAVEN, Conn. -- For the third consecutive season, Bridgeport advanced to the NCAA East Regional final, this time by defeating its conference and NCAA nemesis Dowling, who have defeated the Purple Knights in the last three NCAA tournaments and the last two East Coast Conference championship matches. The Purple Knights prevailed against the Lions in a five-set thriller contested on the campus of the University of New Haven on Friday night.

Bridgeport topped Dowling by scores of 26-24, 25-20, 23-25, 19-25, 15-5. With the victory, UB moves on to Saturday's Regional final against New Haven sporting a 20-7 record on the season. Dowling closes out its 2011 campaign with a 28-5 mark.

Bridgeport had four players post double digit kills, led by junior Sabrina Simas who had 16 on the night and she also accumulated a .481 attack percentage.

Joining Simas in double-digit kills were freshman Biljana Savic with 15, senior Fernanda Costa and freshman Larissa Oliveira who each registered 10 in the match. Oliveira chipped in four total blocks to help lead the way on defense.

Senior setter Tamara Leite directed the UB offense to the tune of 44 assists over the course of the match while junior Taylor McBeth led the Bridgeport defense with 13 digs.

Dowling's Bethany Shepard led all players in the match with 24 kills.