Lady Patriots clinch fifth consecutive conference title

Lady Patriots clinch fifth consecutive conference title

CLICK HERE to watch the match point that clinched the conference title.

GAINESVILLE- The College of Central Florida volleyball team had no intentions of settling for a tie atop the Mid-Florida Conference standings.

The Patriots (21-11, 9-1) won the outright MFC championship with a four-set road win over rival Santa Fe on Thursday night.

CF took the match 26-24, 22-25, 25-16, 25-22 at SFC.

Julia Azevedo (13 kills), Heather Bowersox (11 kills), Licie Leite (nine kills), Nathaly Alvarez (30 assists, eight kills, five digs), Ashley Hagood (20 assists, 11 digs) and Yaralismar Rodriguez (23 digs) led the way for the Patriots.

CF finished with a 58-42 edge in kills.

Playing its eighth match in as many days, CF improved to 2-0 all-time in Gainesville and took the lead in the series with the Saints 3-2.

The victory by the Patriots also enabled them to avenge a home loss earlier this season.

CF claimed its fourth outright title in five years and has now won or shared the MFC title in all five years as a program.

Entering the night, the Patriots were one game ahead of both Santa Fe and Daytona State.

CF wasn't about to settle for a tie atop the conference, as it had a huge turnaround late in the opener and carried the momentum throughout.

In the first set, the Patriots closed out the Saints with a 5-0 run and took the set.

After SFC tied things up, the Patriots dominated the third set and led by as many as 11 in the rout.

From there, CF and SFC played a close set in the fourth. With the score tied at 22, Bowersox came up with a kill to put the Patriots ahead for good.

Rodriguez then came up with an ace after CF had struggled with five service errors in the fourth set to put her team on the brink of a conference title.

Bowersox ended the match with a kill and the Patriots celebrated much like the Saints did last season when they won the regular season finale in Ocala.

The win by CF gave the road team a 4-0 record in the series.

The two teams will see each other in the opening round of the state tournament on November 6 in Pensacola. CF won last year's match in five sets at the state tournament. Thanks to a pair of losses to Daytona State and Thursday's defeat to CF, the Saints fell to third in the MFC standings.

The Lady Patriots will close out the regular season at home as they honor their two sophomores, Rodriguez and Hagood, Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 6 p.m.