WINTER PARK, Fla. - The 14th-ranked Saint Leo volleyball team pushed their Sunshine State Conference record to 10-0 and they are now 23-2 overall after they defeated host Rollins College 3-0 (25-19, 25-11, 25-13) in conference action from Rollins' Alfond Sports Center on Saturday afternoon.
Although the final spreads in each set were by a fairly large margin, the win was set up by an extended period where the Lions avoided surrendering a sideout to the host Tars (14-13, 2-8 SSC). After going back-and-forth through the first few points, sophomore Corey Ryan toed the service line with just a 4-3 lead. She mixed an ace with some well-place kills from the SLU attackers as the Tars would finally get a sideout after Saint Leo had gained an 8-3 advantage. That run, teamed with a 75 percent sideout average for the Lions, helped SLU earn the first-set win.
The second set saw the Lions again earn a 4-3 advantage as senior Chelsea Armer found herself with the serve. Behind her long, powerful serve, the Lions won the next three points and eight of nine points total to earn a commanding 12-4 lead. SLU would hold serve again at the end of the set with Emily Calderon-Reyes and Armer serving the Lions to the win, notching eight of the final nine points in the set.
Set three belonged to the powerful jump serve from Calderon-Reyes. With the score tied 3-3, she would set the tone by notching two aces, forcing Rollins to exhaust both timeouts, and give the Lions nine straight points before the hosts got the sideout.
The Lions managed to get their 20th-straight win behind an 11 kill performance from junior Bruna Rocha, who also hit .550. Sophomore Danielle Bletso was right behind Rocha in attack average with a .533 mark on eight kills.
A fairly well-played contest by Saint Leo saw them only commit seven errors in 90 total attempts as they hit .422 as a team and held the Tars to a .112 percentage.
Armer, the senior libero, guarded the back line well as she popped up 17 digs as SLU notched 10 blocks as a team.
The Lions will have nearly a week off before facing their toughest challenge so far in their second trip around the Sunshine State Conference. Saint Leo will travel to South Florida next weekend as they will face Barry and Lynn in Friday and Saturday matches. The Friday match against Barry is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. start time at the Health and Sports Center on the Barry University campus in Miami Shores.