TAMPA, Fla. – The top-ranked University of Tampa volleyball team opened up the 2019 season against Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the 17th ranked University of Central Missouri.
HOW IT HAPPENED GAME ONE
The Spartans came out swinging in the first game of the season, as they took the match in straight sets (25-9, 25-11, 25-23). They dominated the match offensively as they collected a total of 40 kills compared to the 18 for IUP. The Tampa defense also stepped up in a big way as they held the Night Hawks to a -.013 hitting percentage. Nicole Dominguez had a big opening game, as she hit at a .636 percentage and recorded 10 digs. Katie McKiel led the team in digs with 12, while Sorrel Houghton led the top-ranked Spartans with eight kills.
HOW IT HAPPENED GAME TWO
In the night cap of the double header, Tampa played a five-set thriller with the 17th ranked University of Central Missouri, with the Spartans prevailing over the Jennies. After dropping the first set 25-23, UT bounced back to win sets two and three by final scores of 25-20 and 25-22, respectively. UCM bounced back and won set four by a score of 25-21 to force a decisive fifth set.
In the fifth set, Tampa jumped out to an early lead as they went up 4-1 in the race to 15. Central Missouri was able to bounce back and tied the game back up at six. Both teams continued to battle back and forth, with the teams tied up at 12. The top-ranked Spartans were able to pull out the victory, scoring two of the final three points, with Mckiel scoring the final point.
INSIDE THE STATS
- As a team the Spartans hit .341.
- Dominguez recorded 10 digs and seven kills.
- Houghton led the team with eight kills.
- Sammy Mueller posted 21 assists.
- McKiel led the way for the Spartans as she finished the battle of ranked teams with 23 kills and 18 digs. The 23 kills were tied for the second most in a game for her career.
- Dominguez led the way for Tampa with 22 digs.
- Mueller finished the game with 30 assists.
- Melissa Elias recorded 22 assists.
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
- This was the first ever matchup between UT and IUP.
- Tampa improves to 11-2 against Central Missouri and extends their win streak to nine games.
Tampa wraps up the tournament tomorrow as they face Valdosta State at 3:00 and square off with the fifth-ranked Concordia, St Paul Golden Bears at 7:30.
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