TAMPA, Fla. – The Saint Leo volleyball team put forward their best efforts, but the Lions were simply overpowered by no. 7 Tampa in a 3-1 (25-21, 25-15, 25-23) defeat in Sunshine State Conference action from Tampa's Bob Martinez Sports Center on Saturday afternoon.
Tampa (11-2, 4-0 SSC) took the first set 25-21 as the home squad swung at an errorless .529 attack percentage and broke a 13-all tie to take the opening advantage. UT's Jessica Yingling hit 7-for-12 while Danielle Selkridge swatted five kills to pace the offense. Saint Leo (6-6, 0-4 SSC) hitters Meghan Donovan and Tawni Warren contributed three kills each to round out the Lions attack.
Struggling to find their rhythm, the Lions had no answer for the dominating second set performance from Selkridge, as she drove the Spartans behind five kills in just six swings. Tampa took the second set 25-15 to put the Lions in a 0-2 deficit.
The final set of play saw the Lions drop an extremely close 25-23 set as the squad held the lead at numerous points throughout the third game, but were unable to finish it out. Lions' outside hitter Sami Vierk led all players in the third frame with six kills in seven chances.
The Spartans swung at a .396 clip as a team while Saint Leo was limited to a .219 percentage.
No Lions reached double-digits in kills, but Vierk finished with nine to lead the team.
Selkridge and Yingling each posted 14 kills in the Spartan victory.
The Lions remain road warriors as they travel to Melbourne, Fla. to face Florida Tech next Friday, October 5. The match is scheduled to get underway at 7 p.m. from the Clemente Center on the Florida Tech campus.
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