Lakeland, Fla. (August 25, 2006) - The Saint Leo University volleyball team (1-1) split its first two matches of the new season on Friday at the Florida Southern Volleyball Tournament in Lakeland, Fla. The Lions dropped their season opening match to Texas Woman's University in a five-game thriller (30-25, 13-30, 19-30, 30-19, 6-15) before rebounding with a four-game win over Angelo State University (30-20, 24-30, 30-19, 30-20).

Saint Leo was led by sophomore Audrey Starkebaum (Sterling, Colo.) who totaled 24 kills on the day along with 17 digs defensively. Sophomore setter Jessi Lynn (Brandon, Fla.) had a total of 79 assists in the two matches while both Erin Oberlin (Sr. Naples, Fla.) and Emily Frey (So., Mason, Ohio) had six blocks each.

The Lions lost their opening match despite a strong performance by Starkebaum, as she totaled 10 kills and 12 digs against Texas Woman's University. The five-game encounter saw SLU take a 1-0 lead after a 30-25 win in game one. Texas Woman's University then won the next two games before the Lions forced a fifth game with a 30-19 win in game four. However, it was TWU who came away with the victory, as they won game five by a score of 15-6.

The Lions picked up their first win of the new season by outlasting Angelo State in the second half of Friday's doubleheader. After the teams split the opening two games, SLU took control to win the final two games in comfortable fashion by scores of 30-19 and 30-20.

The SLU volleyball team will return to action next weekend, as it will travel to Valdosta, Ga. For a second tournament in as many weeks. The Lions will play four matches over a three-day period, beginning Friday, August 31 against tournament host Valdosta State University at 6:00 p.m.