Friday, November 19, 2010

No. 20 UWF Volleyball Advances to NCAA South Regional Finals with 3-0 Sweep of Rollins

TAMPA, Fla. – The No. 20 University of West Florida volleyball team (30-6) swept Rollins College, 26-24, 25-18, 25-13, in the NCAA South Regional semifinals tonight in Tampa, Fla. Chandler Carney led UWF with 11 kills and hit .500. UWF advances to the finals of the NCAA South Regional for the second time in school history. With the loss, Rollins’ season ends with a 22-10 record.

No. 2 seed West Florida hit .333 for the night, while No. 6 seed Rollins hit .208. Sarah Mendoza led Rollins with 15 kills, while freshman Megan Hodges added 10 kills.

UWF came out slow in set one, as back to back attack errors by seniors Katie Johnson (Tallahassee) and Jamie Nichols (Crawfordville) gave Rollins the early 6-3 lead. UWF rallied back, and a Johnson kill off of a Rollins overpass put UWF up 12-11. A Nichols cross court kill tied the set at 16 all. A Chelsea Wilhoite (Jacksonville) kill tied the set again, this time at 20-20. Rollins took a 24-23 lead on a Mendoza kill. A service ace by Johnson put UWF up 25-24. A Nichols kill gave UWF set one, 26-24. For the set, Wilhoite had four kills on four attempts.

In set two, sophomore Chandler Carney (Indianapolis, Ind.) had her third kill of the set for the Argos to take the 6-4 lead. A three-point run by the Tars gave Rollins the 8-7 lead. UWF won six straight points to go up by six, 16-10. Kills by Abby Timmer (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and Carney highlighted the six-point run. Carney’s sixth kill of the set put UWF up 20-15. Senior Kara Gonzalez (St. Augustine) had a kill to make the score 23-18, UWF. Another Gonzalez kill ended set two, 25-18, UWF. For the set, UWF hit .353, while holding Rollins to a .146 hitting percentage.

UWF went on an early five-point run with setter Tricia Tirabassi (Kenosha, Wis.) serving in set three to go up 7-3. Back to back kills by Wilhoite and Gonzalez put UWF up by six, 10-6, and forced a Rollins time out. Later, another Wilhoite kill made the score 16-8, UWF. UWF went up by 10, 19-9, on another Carney kill. A Gonzalez kill put UWF up 23-12. A kill by Nichols made the score 25-13 and gave UWF the 3-0 sweep.

Rollins made the NCAA tournament for the first time in five years. UWF is making its fifth straight NCAA tournament appearance. UWF’s only other appearance in the NCAA South Regional finals was in 2008.

UWF will face the winner of the Tampa/Lynn match tomorrow night at 7 p.m. (eastern). The winner of Saturday’s match will advance to the NCAA Championships in Louisville, Ky., December 2-4, 2010. UWF is looking to make history as no UWF volleyball team has ever advanced to the Elite Eight. Live video, stats and audio of Saturday’s match will be available on

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