TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Cincinnati defeated Samford Friday evening at Florida State 3-2 (25-17, 22-25, 25-16, 23-25, 15-9) in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

The Bearcats were led on the evening by four double-digit kill performances and 77 total digs.

Junior Jordanne Scott recorded 19 kills, fellow junior Emily Hayden put down 15 (.423 hitting percentage), senior Missy Harpenau recorded 13 and junior Becca Refenes rounded out the offensive efforts with 11 kills and only one error.

Sophomore Emily MacIntyre led the match with 27 digs. Harpenau followed with 19 in the match. Hayden put up five block assists, accounting for 2.5 out of the team’s nine total. Freshman Caylin Mahoney led the match with 56 assists. She also recorded eight digs in the win.

Samford was led on the night by Michaela Reestor, who recorded 16 kills.

Turner and Hayden teamed up for a block and Hayden put down a kill to start the fifth and final set for a 6-2 Bearcat lead. Junior Karen Onuki served a run thanks to a Hayden kill to extend the lead 9-3. Scott and Harpenau then recorded kills for a 13-6 lead. Scott ended the set and the match 15-9 for the Bearcat win.

Refenes started the third set with a kill and a block with Scott for a tie at five. Samford then went on a run to pull ahead 12-11. Hayden and Harpenau then teamed up for a block to pull the Bearcats within one 16-15. Harpenau then put down two kills to tie the score at 21. Mahoney and Hayden put down a block to tie again at 23. The Bulldogs then recorded a block for the fourth set win 25-23.

Thanks to kills from Refenes and digs from MacIntyre, the Bearcats started the third set with a lead 8-4. Turner then added a kill for a 15-10 Bearcat lead. Harpenau then put down two kills off the Samford block for a 20-15 lead. Refenes then dove for a dig and Samford recorded a hitting error to end the set for the Bearcat win 25-16.

Samford started the second set with an 8-6 lead. Refenes then put down two kills, but the Bulldogs remained ahead 11-8. Turner then placed a kill on the sideline to pull the Bearcats within two 18-16. Mahoney recorded a kill of her own, but the Bearcats were still behind at 22-21. Samford then blocked a Bearcat attempt to win the second set 25-22 and tie the match 1-1. Refenes again led the offense as she hit .538 overall after two sets.

Kills from Scott, Hayden and Refenes started the match with a slim Bearcat lead 10-8. Harpenau then went on a 6-1 run thanks to kills from Scott and a block by Scott and Refenes to add to the lead 16-9. Scott then recorded an ace for the 21-13 lead. Refenes ended the set with a kill off the Bulldog block for a Bearcat win 25-17. Refenes led the way in the set with a .600 hitting percentage, going three kills on five swings with no errors.

The win puts the Bearcats in the second round of the NCAA for the second year in a row.