TAMPA, Fla. - University of Tampa (21-2, 8-1 SSC) head volleyball coach Chris Catanach reached another career milestone as he won his 800th match with a 3-0 victory over visiting Lynn University (17-7, 4-5 SSC) in Sunshine State Conference play. The match also served as Homecoming for UT.
"I guess it will sink in more in the next couple days," says Catanach. "What it does tell me is the great players and assistant coaches I have had during my career."
In front of a raucous crowd of 649 fans, UT came out strong in the first set to take a 25-12 win. The Spartans answered with 25-22 and 25-21 victories to give Catanach another historic milestone victory.
"It was fun to have a good crowd here and we had a great time," states Catanach. "The band was awesome and we had some alumni and former players here. That really meant a lot to me."
A pivotal second set proved to be the turning point for the Spartans as it broke a 21-21 tie with a 4-1 run to win the frame. After an eight minute intermission where the Homecoming king and queen were crowned, Tampa never trailed in the third to finish off the straight set win.
The trio of Melissa Vanderhall, Kaleigh Cunningham and Camille Hanks each led Tampa with 10 kills apiece while Hanks turned in an impressive .412 hitting percentage. Meghan Sherman added a team-high 37 assists to go with five kills. Sherman also sealed the match with the final kill as she found a hole in the back of the Lynn defense.
Julie Howlett helped hold the Fighting Knights to a .138 hitting percentage as the sophomore libero led the Spartans with 12 digs. Vanderhall and Hanks each tallied four blocks as two of Vanderhall's were solo. Sherman chipped in three blocks while Danielle Selkridge added two off the bench.
Tampa finished the match with a .326 hitting percentage as a set one clip of .471 paved the way for the Spartans outhitting its opponent by nearly .200. Tampa also outdug Lynn by a 35-27 mark.
Second among active head coaches in NCAA Division II, Catanach ranks fourth all-time and now needs 28 victories to tie Debby Colberg (Sacramento State) for third on the NCAA II list.
UT is back in action in a Saturday afternoon affair as it entertains another SSC opponent, Nova Southeastern, at 4 p.m. The match will mark the second "Think Pink" Dig For the Cure match as fans are asked to donate money for each UT dig during the match.
The team will also be accepting donations for the cause, which will allow participants to enter for a chance to win three tickets to the University of Florida's football game against Vanderbilt on Nov. 7. The drawing will take place on Oct. 30 at the home game against Rollins, and all proceeds will go to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.
UT will offer a webcast and live stats for all matches. Fans may visit www.tampaspartans .com and click on Multimedia to view the services. 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.
Chris Catanach Milestone Victories
1 vs. South Florida (3-1), 9/17/84
100 vs. St. Thomas (3-0), 11/1/86
200 vs. Florida Atlantic (3-0), 10/20/89
300 vs. North Florida (3-0), 10/22/92
400 vs. Florida Tech (3-0), 9/28/96
500 vs. Francis Marion (3-0), 10/8/99
600 vs. Florida Southern (NCAA, 3-0), 11/23/02
700 vs. Eckerd (3-0), 9/16/06
800 vs. Lynn (3-0), 10/23/09