SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo volleyball team opened up their 2009 home season in exciting fashion as they swept visiting East Stroudsburg University 3-0 (25-9, 25-18, 25-19) in front of a sterling crowd at the Bowman Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Lions (5-2) were on a roll early, jumping out to a 5-1 lead and pushed it to as much as 11-3 before the visitors from Pennsylvania were forced to use a timeout. With SLU already on a roll, the Lions were able to set the tempo and keep ESU from posting double-digits in the first set to claim the victory.
After going up 2-0 over the Warriors, Saint Leo had to bear down in the third set when East Stroudsburg matched the Lions point-for-point early on. After the score was tied at 13, SLU would rally to outscore the Warriors 7-3 over the next 10 points to take a 20-16 lead. The Lions would trade side-outs for the remainder of the match as a solo block by freshman middle-blocker Lucy Fricker sealed the win for the Green & Gold.
The Lions were led by junior middle-blocker Kaitlin McKenna, who's 13 kills helped her post a .571 hitting percentage and senior setter Michelle Nogueras who was second in kills for the match with eight and a .500 attack percentage. In her typical setter role, she also added 28 set-assists and dug nine balls. This was the third match in a row where Nogueras was just shy of a triple-double in kills, assists and digs.
In holding the visitors to a mere .077 attack percentage, the Lions out-blocked East Stroudsburg 5-2 as they were led by sophomore Danielle Bletso’s three block assists and one solo stuff.
After opening up the Bowman Center for the first time in 2009, the Lions now hit the road again as they travel to Pensacola, Fla. to participate in the West Florida South Region Crossover on Friday and Saturday. The Lions will face four teams from the Gulf South Conference starting with Arkansas Tech on Friday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. EDT.