Saint Leo, Fla. (November 12, 2007) – The Saint Leo University volleyball team (24-13, 6-10 SSC) was selected to participate in the 2007 NCAA Volleyball Championships, it was announced Monday. The selection is the second straight for the Lions who were seeded seventh and will face No. 2 seed and 14th ranked Florida Southern College (24-8, 11-5 SSC) in the opening round for the second consecutive year on Thursday, November 15 at 2:30 p.m.
The University of Tampa is the top-seed for the South Regional and will host all matches, beginning with Thursday's opening round. The Saint Leo-Florida Southern match will be broadcast live on the Internet via the Saint Leo Athletics Audiocast Network. To follow all South Region matches via live statistics, CLICK HERE.
Saint Leo was swept by Florida Southern in two regular season meetings in 2007, and the Lions have never defeated the Moccasins in 58 all-time meetings between the two schools. The Mocs finished 2007 tied with Nova Southeastern for second-place in the SSC.
Saint Leo set a new program record for victories in a single season in 2007, as the Lions won 24 matches to surpass the previous mark of 21 set a season ago. SLU finished sixth in the ultra-competitive Sunshine State Conference, which had six of the eight teams selected from the south region in the NCAA Division II Tournament (Tampa, Florida Southern, Nova Southeastern, Eckerd, Lynn & Saint Leo).
The Lions were led by sophomore setter Michelle Nogueras (Cayey, Puerto Rico) in 2007, as she set a new program record for assists with 1,528 and a new record for assists/game with 11.40. Nogueras added 229 kills, a team-high 374 digs and 71 blocks. Freshman middle blocker Kaitlin McKenna (Farmington Hills, Mich.) established a new program record for highest single-season hitting percentage as she hit at a .451 clip and was second on the team with 369 kills and 129 blocks. Junior Emily Frey (Mason, Ohio) set a new program record with 173 total blocks and also broke her own program record for block assists with 136 during the 2007 regular season.
Last season, the Lions fell 3-0 to the Moccasins in the opening round as Saint Leo made its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Mocs advanced to the regional semifinal with a 30-19, 30-27, 30-17 win at Tampa’s Bob Martinez Sports Center in Tampa, Fla.