West Florida volleyball stuns No. 2 Tampa with 3-1 victory
Argonauts go 2-0 on first day of Red Elephant Café South Regional Crossover
TAMPA, Fla. – After avenging their loss to Florida Southern in the NCAA South Regional Tournament last season, the No. 22 West Florida volleyball team capped the first day of the Red Elephant Café South Regional Crossover with an epic 3-1 victory over No. 2 Tampa on its home turf Friday evening.
This is UWF’s second victory over a top two ranked team in the nation and its third win over a ranked opponent this season. West Florida (16-6) also avenged their 3-0 loss to Tampa on Sep. 1, when the Spartans were also ranked No. 2. The victory also handed the Spartans their first home loss this season.
Autumn Duyn (Venice, Fla./Venice HS) equaled her career-high kill ,mark of 21 at a .395 clip and secured a double-double with 14 digs. K.C. Dobbins (Winston-Salem, N.C./Arkansas) also had a double-double with a career-high 35 assists and 16 digs. Haley Shackelford (Colorado Springs, Colo./Yavapai) had 18 kills while Colleen Starrs (West Bloomfield, Mich./Walled Lake Central HS) had 20 digs.
The Argonauts could not recover from Florida Southern (15-8) jumping out to a 7-1 lead in the first set and fell 25-19. The same fate befell the Moccasins in the next frame, however, as UWF went up 7-1 and never relinquished the lead in the 25-21 victory. Despite the third set being a much closer contest, the Argonauts took as large as a five point lead on the way to a 26-24 win.
The most intense game of the match was the fourth, where West Florida fought back from a six point deficit to even up the score 20-20, the first of nine ties to end the frame. The Moccasins warded off five UWF match points before equalizing the match on an Argo attack error and service ace 31-29. Unfazed, West Florida took complete control of the deciding set with an 8-4 advantage and cruised to a 15-11 victory.
Jenny Bellairs (Osage, Iowa/Southeast Missouri State) headlined the Argonaut offense with 16 kills at a scorching .462 rate while Duyn and Lindsay Homme (Willowbrook, Ill./Hinsdale Central HS) had 12 and 11 kills, respectively. Duyn’s 14 digs gave her her second double-double of the day while Sierra Hansen (Layton, Utah/Southern Idaho) joined her with 14 assists and 13 digs. Starrs led the defense again with 16 digs.
A narrow first frame set a tone for the match as 10 ties forced a back-and-forth game, the Spartans coming out on top 25-22. Tampa (17-3) jumped out to an 8-2 advantage in the second frame, but the Argonauts came back swinging to tie up the set 18-18 and eventually take the game with an identical 25-22 score.
The momentum continued through the third set when the Argonauts doubled their advantage 16-8, but Tampa tied up the score on a 9-1 spree to put the pressure back on UWF. Seven ties ensued before two huge kills by Christine Bach (Jacksonville, Fla./Florida State College at Jacksonville) and Shackelford gave West Florida the much-needed win 27-25. With the exception of either team jumping out to a huge lead, the final set was much like the others with a neck-and-neck battle that the Argonauts came out of victorious once again 27-25.
West Florida continues play at the Red Elephant Café South Regional Crossover with two final matches tomorrow. The Argonauts face Rollins at 1:15 p.m. ET followed by Eckerd at 5:45 p.m. ET. For information on all UWF athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com.