SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo University volleyball team (22-7, 3-5 SSC) defeated the Eckerd College Tritons (13-9, 4-5 SSC), 3-0 in Sunshine State Conference action Tuesday night at the Bowman Center (25-23, 25-23, 25-23).
Sophomore sensation Kaitlin McKenna and freshman standout Danielle Bletso led the Lions on the night with 12 and ten kills respectively. Bletso also totaled six block assists in the victory. Michelle Nogueras once again impressed with her 19th double-double of the season. She totaled 34 assists and 14 digs, finishing two kills away from a triple-double. Chelsea Armer had a very solid game accumulating seven kills, ten digs and three block assists, while Jenna Jordan finished with six kills and nine digs. Leah Perry contributed with five kills and Corey Ryan sprawled out for 13 digs.
In the first set, the Lions set the tone for the entire match and showed the resiliency of a team looking to strike back at a squad that swept them in an SSC match-up in St. Petersburg in September. After the Lions jumped out an quick lead, the Tritons battled back, taking control 9-6. Saint Leo managed to tie the match at nine apiece which was followed a series of trading point for point with the Tritons until Saint Leo darted ahead taking a three-point lead, 20-17. The Tritons did not quit though and tied the match once again at 20. Saint Leo buckled down though and did not let the lead slip away, taking five of the next eight points to secure the first set. McKenna struck a mighty .385 during the set with seven kills and Jordan added four kills herself. The Lions hit .250 during the set and had three total team blocks.
Saint Leo found themselves down early in the second set, but fought back to take a 10-8 lead. The two continued to trade points but the Lions pulled away to take 22-17 lead. The Tritons once again displayed resolve and took five of the next six points, tying the match at 23. But Perry and McKenna did not let a repeat of the first match happen, as each hammered two balls to the floor to claim the second set. Bletso controlled the set with five kills and two block assists, while SLU hit .256 as a team and added two more blocks.
The Lions smelled blood and did not let the Tritons back into the match by sweeping through the third set. The team hit a game high .343 and added three more team blocks to their resume. The Lions jumped out to an early lead, but like they did in the previous two sets, Eckerd battled back. The set featured ten ties and ten lead changes. The Lions took charge though when it mattered most though and rattled off the five of the final eight points of the match, including Nogueras contributing on four of the final five points.
Saint Leo hit .280 for the match compared to the Tritons .248. The Lions totaled five more team kills and out blocked the Tritons 8.0 to 5.0.
The Lions continue SSC action with a match-up with the Barry University Buccaneers Saturday, October 18 in Miami Shores, Fla. The match will begin at 4:00 p.m.