The UT volleyball team continued its quest for another SSC Championship with a 3-0 win over the Barry University Buccaneers. It was a closely contested game throughout but one in which Tampa was clearly the better team.
It was senior night for the team and Amy Rumore, Tarah Marinelli and Stephanie Rivera were all recognized prior to the game. Each player received flowers at half court and posed for a photograph. The UT crowd showed their appreciation for the trio. Head coach Chris Catanach was proud of what these players have brought to the team.
“They’ve been real important to us,” he said. “They’ve led us to two conference championships.”
Rivera and outside hitter Katelen Dixon were also recognized before their game for individual achievements. Both players passed 1,000 kills in their careers earlier this season.
Tampa won the first game 30-22 despite Barry hitting a better average with .429 to the Spartans’ .385. They were able to win this game on a combination of good blocks and not allowing the Buccaneers to sustain any type of substantial lead.
The second game was Tampa’s best. They hit an incredible .526, displaying the impressive offense that has made them one of the nation’s best teams. The defense tightened up and held the Buccaneers to a .205 hitting percentage. This led them to a 30-20 victory.
The third game was dominated early by Tampa, at one point getting as high as 20-15. The Buccaneers had a surge late in the game, getting as close as 28-25, but it was not enough. Tampa finished the game with a score of 30-25.
Among some of the standout players in the game were Rivera, Dixon and middle blocker Alisha Green. They combined for a total of 38 kills. Setter Gabriela Saade also had a great game by setting up attacks for her teammates all day. She finished the game with 48 assists.
Coach Catanach was happy with the play of the team against a good opponent.
“It’s always good to beat Barry,” he said.
The team will now get ready to face Florida Southern on Friday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. in the Martinez Sports Center. Tampa was dominated in their last meeting, accounting for their only loss of the season. This is a chance for redemption and a can’t – miss game.