VOLLEYBALL

Tampa Holds Steady at No. 2; Receives First-Place Vote

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Tampa volleyball team remains the No. 2 ranked squad in the nation, holding the same spot for six consecutive weeks in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) NCAA Division II poll. The Spartans also received one first place vote for the first time in 2011.

The 20-0 Spartans, who began the year as the No. 4 team in the AVCA preseason installment, are off to its best start in 23 years. The best start in program history was 25-0 in 1984 as the 1987 and 1988 teams were both 22-0 before suffering a loss.

Head coach Chris Catanach’s squad is coming off three victories at the South Region Crossover in Pensacola, Fla. The Spartans swept three regional foes in Valdosta State, Christian Brothers and West Florida. UT has now won 23 consecutive sets this season.

Tampa is now a perfect 8-0 in SSC play, as the lone undefeated team in league play and two matches ahead of Eckerd and Rollins.

Four-time defending national champions Concordia-St. Paul remains at the top-spot, netting 31 of the 32 first-place votes with a perfect 21-0 record. Cal State-San Bernardino is third as Minnesota-Duluth and Washburn round out the top-five.

Tampa is the lone SSC and South Region school in the top-25, with 2011 opponents Eckerd, Rollins and West Florida each receiving votes.

The Spartans have three home matches this week, beginning with a Tuesday night showdown with Flagler College. UT then entertains SSC opponents Lynn and Barry on Friday and Saturday at the Bob Martinez Sports Center.

Tampa has now been ranked for 211 straight weeks, which is the second-longest active streak to No. 7 Central Missouri. The Spartans have also been represented in the top-five for 22 consecutive releases.

Click here for complete AVCA rankings

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