(Saint Leo, Fla. November 4, 2007) - Senior night for Eni Lukacs did not go as planned for the Lions’ only senior and the Saint Leo University Lions (24-10, 6-7) lost a four set match to top ranked Tampa Sunday night at the Marion Bowman Activities Center (30-14,30-28,28-30,30-11).
The Tampa offense was to strong to overcome as they jumped out to an early 2-0 match lead. The Lions battled back to win a competitive game three to pull within one game of the Spartans. The Spartans would dominate in game four to take the season series from the Lions.
In game one, The Spartans jumped out to an early lead led by Katelen Dixon and Melissa Vanderhall. The Lions didn’t lead once in game number one and with the score 14-10, the Spartans went on a 16-4 run to end the game. Emily Frey (Mason, OH.) contributed to the Lions fourteen game one points with three kills.
The Lions came out much more determined and ready in game two. They pushed the Spartans to their limits and had there opportunities to pull out a victory. The Lions jumped out to a 16-9 lead and maintained the lead until it was tied at 24. Still, the Spartans battles and took the lead 25-24, never looking back. Kaitlin McKenna (Farmington Hills, Mich.) had six kills in the game.
The Lions were able to gain momentum from the game two loss though, and fought hard for a game three victory. The victory saw the Lions down for the majority of the match and fight back for a two point game three win. When the Lions were down 18-15 they found the strength to fight back and tie the game. The Lions would soon take the lead and behind the efforts of freshman Kaitlin McKenna and the active play of sophomore Michelle Nogueras (Cayey, Puerto Rico) the Lions were victorious in game three 30-28. The Lions couldn’t keep the momentum going though as they fell in game number four 30-11. The Spartans came out and executed their aggressive style of play when given the opportunity to. The started the game on a 13-4 run and finished the match on a 17-7 run to take the fourth game 30-11.
The Lions had six total blocks as a team compared to the Spartans 2 team blocks. The Lions hit for their highest percentage in game three with a .176 htting percentage while the Spartans countered with a .552 hitting percentage in game four.
The Lions travel down to Lynn University to take on the Fighting Knights tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. for Sunshine State Conference action.