Lions Pick Up Big Road Win in SSC Opener

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Saint Leo volleyball team started their 2011 Sunshine State Conference campaign with an impressive 3-1 (25-18, 21-25, 25-13, 25-21) victory in action at the NSU Arena on Tuesday evening.  The win propels Saint Leo to a 5-3 overall record and a 1-0 conference mark while Nova Southeastern falls to 2-7 with a 0-1 SSC record.

Despite the long midweek travels, the Lions opened up the match with a dominating set one win, opening a gap early and keeping the host Sharks at bay.  Set 2 was the only blemish on a rather dominating night by the Green and Gold as a four-point rally by NSU saw the Sharks get to 20 first and knot the match at one.

Sets 3 and 4 were all Lions, as Saint Leo pulled away behind a 10-point push in a rotation that had Corey Ryan at the service line in set 3.  The Lions gained the advantage in set 4 and managed to stay ahead of the hosts through 25, claiming the match win.

It was a clinic that was taught by two Saint Leo seniors as Danielle Bletso blasted a game-high 18 kills while hitting .500 and Emily Calderon-Reyes was on her heels with 16 successful attacks.

Posting the double-double for the third time this season, Calderon-Reyes added 11 digs, but Molly Alexander led the way defensively as her libero position was responsible for 27 scoops.

Out-blocking the hosts at nearly a 2-to-1 margin, the Lions slapped back 12 Nova Southeastern attacks with Bletso joining in on six rejections.

Lauren Lewkowicz led the Sharks with 15 kills and 11 digs as the Sharks dropped their fifth-straight match to their opponents from Pasco County.

Saint Leo will open up their home conference schedule on Friday when they host Florida Tech at 7:00 p.m.  The match against the Panthers start the White-Out Weekend at Saint Leo as the volleyball team also faces West Florida in a 2:00 p.m. match on Saturday.

Also on Saturday the Lions will welcome back a number of volleyball alums as it is Alumni Weekend for SLU Volleyball.

For the latest news, information, and updates on Lions Volleyball, visit SaintLeoLions.com.