Saints fall short, but prove they can compete

By {Jaycob Ammerman}|
Photo by Dylan Busse

The Flagler College Saints volleyball team showed that they were not a pushover Tuesday night against No. 7 (AVCA Division II Top 25) University of Tampa.

The Spartans of Tampa defeated Flagler College 3-1 (22-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-21) at the Flagler Gymnasium.

In the first set, the Saints came out strong hitting an impressive 18 kills and taking the set 25-22.

The Spartans fought back and stole the momentum taking the second set 25-22.

In the third set, the Saints took a demanding 19-12 lead forcing the Spartans to call their second timeout.

After the timeout, the Spartans scored 10 straight points to take the lead at 22-19.

“This was a major breakdown in our passing. We allowed a server to serve us off the floor and allowed the set to get away from us,” Saints head coach Brian Heffernan said.

The Spartans rattled off three more points and took the set 25-23. The Spartans would not look back winning the fourth set easily 25-22. The Saints were led by junior Emilee Taylor who led the game with 17 kills and 10 digs.

“I was pleased with our efforts, but we missed several point scoring opportunities,” Heffernan said.

The Saints were without preseason All-Peach Belt selection Crystal Niederriter, who is nursing an injured knee.

“It was hard to watch the team and know there is not much you can do,” Niederriter said.

Coach Heffernan is optimistic that Niederriter will be ready to play by early October.

“She has made improvements and is very committed to getting back on the floor,” Heffernan said.

Niederriter believes that the Saints are right on track on winning their fourth straight Peach Belt Conference Championship.

“We know what to fix. I think we will improve and compete for the top sport in the region and in the conference,” Niederriter said.

With the loss to Tampa, the Saints record falls to 6-5 which already almost matches their enitre 2011 season losses where they went 31-7.

The Saints will try to avoid their second straight loss at home Friday, September 21st against Palm Beach Atlantic University at 7 p.m.

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