Tampa, FL. – The stage is set for The University of Tampa and Southwest Minnesota State University to face-off for the 2014 NCAA Division II Volleyball Championship at Bellarmine University. The #1 ranked University of Tampa Spartans are boosting an impressive 33-1 , 16-0 SSC record coming into the match. That one lost coming from the hands of Southwest Minnesota State University in the Colorado Premier Classic.
The Spartans have been playing well all year and the accolades have been pouring in. Coach Chris Catanach was selected South Region Coach of the Year. We at Between Classes Magazine have watched him for the last 2 year and what we have seen is 65 wins and 3 loss. Great Job coach
Next is the strong core of players Meagan Burk, Marissa Lisenbee, Jessica Wagner, Kahley Patrick, and Berkley Whaley.
Whaley, a junior outside hitter from St. Petersburg, Fla., earns the honor for the second consecutive season as she is also a two-time Sunshine State Conference Player of the Year. A five-time SSC Player of the Week in 2014, Whaley is the team leader with 381 kills, 21 service aces and 428.0 points while hitting an astounding .371 from her outside hitter spot.
Lisenbee, a junior from Seminole, Fla., was a second-team all-region choice as a sophomore in 2013. The rightside hitter is second on the team with 255 kills and also sports a .366 hitting percentage. She has also tallied 43 blocks on the season.
Patrick, a four-year starting setter from Clearwater, Fla., is among the national leaders this season with 1,160 assists while averaging 12.08 per set. She also leads the team with 254 digs and ranks second with 20 service aces. She currently stands at 4,568 career assists, which ranks her fifth in program history.
Wagner, a junior middle hitter from Cape Coral, Fla., is a first-team all-region selection for the second straight season. She currently owns a .409 hitting percentage and leads all Spartans with 88 total blocks. She also has a team-leading 23 solo blocks.
Burke, a senior middle hitter from Jacksonville, is a two-sport star in both volleyball and softball, who is also an Academic All-American in both sports. Burke is a three-time all-region selection and two-time All-American. She is currently the nation’s leader with a .422 attack percentage. (http://tampaspartans.com/article.asp?articleID=5439)
For the Spartans to host the Trophy they know Berkley has to be Berkley. The 2014 AVCA Division II National Player of the Year , only two-time Sunshine State Conference Player of the Year and two-time All-SSC First Team will be looking to close this season out with a Ring!