Tampa, Fla. (August 29, 2008) – The Saint Leo volleyball team (2-0) capped off a successful first day at the Tampa Classic as they upended No. 21 Ashland University 3-1 (26-24, 25-27, 25-20, 26-24) Friday afternoon at the Bob Martinez Sports Center on the campus of the University of Tampa.
After the 3-0 sweep over Central Oklahoma, the Lions met a more formidable opponent in the Eagles. Ashland stayed even with SLU for the majority of the games but the Lions determination did not waiver in the winning effort.
In game one the Lions found themselves down 24-19 before Emily Frey (Sr., Mason, Ohio) toed the service line. After rattling off the next seven points, the Lions posted an exciting come from behind first game win.
In the second game, Ashland turned the tables on Saint Leo as they came from behind to steal momentum with a 27-25 victory.
After losing the second game, the Lions faced their first pressure situation of the season and they responded to the Eagles challenge without hesitation. They wasted no time in scoring the first two points of the game, as they set the pace early. Ashland cut the lead down to 16-15 but Saint Leo regrouped and scored nine of the next 14 points to give them a 25-20 game three victory.
A new resilient Lions’ team began to peak through during the fourth game, as Saint Leo found themselves down for most of the match. Down 22-18, the Lions mounted a comeback that led to their second victory of the day. Saint Leo outscored their opponent 8-2 in the final moments of the match, including two service aces by Amanda Cook (Sr., Royal Palm Beach, Fla.). The opportunistic Lions took advantage of the three errors by the Eagles and Michelle Nogueras (Jr., Cayey, Puerto Rico) gave the Lions the lead for good. With the game tied at 24, she found the back corner of the court for a service ace giving the Lions a 25-24 lead. The next point sealed the victory for the Lions
Saint Leo will open home action at the Marion Bowman Activities Center Saturday, August 30 as tournament play continues. The Lions will take on St. Thomas University at 10:00 a.m. and Northwood University at 7:00 p.m.