UT Women’s Volleyball Team on a Roll

By: Emily Ann Pesquera

The University of Tampa’s volleyball team has three NCAA National Championships, 18 NCAA Regional Championships, 69 All-Americans, and 26 Sunshine State Conference (SSC). The players on this team are like no others; they are on a mission to win and create memories. 

The volleyball team is a member of the SSC with 11 other schools. 

Beating teams like West Georgia, Eckerd, Florida Tech, and Barry, the volleyball team is on a 13 game winning streak.

The overall volleyball record for the Spartans is 26-2, with a history of 10-2 at home, 13-0 on the road, and 4-0 neutral.

UT’s team is currently ranked second in the south region rankings, and with their winning streak of 13, the volleyball team is ranked ninth in the NCAA Division II. 

“It feels rewarding to be on a winning streak because the teams we play are so competitive,” said Sarah Luoma, senior volleyball player. “But we just have to stay focused and play one match at a time.” 

Luoma is also appreciative that this season is a regular-season due to COVID-19 interrupting their previous season. 

Volleyball players, coaches, and families are not the only ones excited for this winning streak and undefeated season on the road.

“It makes me feel awesome, to be honest, knowing that my team is working together so well to be able to get this far,” said Cassie LaTorella, freshman computer science major. 

Individuals on the team have also broken several records.

Junior Claudia Rivera recently hit 1,000 digs. 

Graduate student Sorrel Houghton and Senior Katie Mckiel recently achieved 1,500 kills. 

“This season has been awesome,” said Houghton. “I am embracing every moment of it. Winning is great. However, it doesn’t define who we are.” 

On Tuesday, Nov. 9, the team played Florida Southern. The game leaders were Sorrel Houghton, Mackenzie Dufresne, Rivera, and Emily Noe. 

The game went to four sets, with the final score in the fourth set being 25-16, Tampa. 

Chasing postseason, the volleyball players understand it will not come easy, but they are ready for whatever comes their way. 

On Saturday, Nov. 13, they played Nova Southeastern. UT won with a win of three sets and Nova Southeastern with a win of two sets. 

The leaders of the matches against Nova Southeastern were Melissa Elias, Rivera, Kalli Cors, and Sierra Rayzor. 

UT is currently leading the all-time series against Florida Southern with the standing of 78-56 and Nova Southeastern University with 35-3. 

“We still have a lot of growth, and I am excited to see how we can develop even more come postseason,” said Houghton.

The volleyball team plays their next game at home on Friday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. against Rollins College.

“I am looking forward to making memories with my teammates and winning a National Championship,” said Luoma.

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