OCALA--The College of Central Florida volleyball's state and national tournament hopes came up short over the weekend at the Bradenton Convention Center.
CF's state title hopes diminished after falling 3-1 (15-25, 24-26, 25-23, 24-26) to Santa Fe College in Saturday morning's semifinal match. The loss dropped the Lady Patriots into the consolation bracket with a shot at the District O Championship and lock up the third and final NJCAA tournament spot for Florida.
In the first consolation game, CF matched up against St. Petersburg College, who they defeated 3-1 earlier in the season. The Lady Patriots got off to a slow start, dropping the first set 17-25. They would eventually push it to a fifth-set tiebreaker where the Patriots came out victorious 17-25, 25-20, 16-25, 25-18, 15-9. Alyssa Gage and Kristin Schemm led the offensive attack with 12 kills each. Setter Nathaly Alvarez notched 32 assists and 11 digs, while Chelsea Chavers held the back line with 26 digs.
A win against SPC set up a rematch of the quarterfinal matchup between the Patriots and Polk State College. Winner would clinch the District O Championship and the final NJCAA tournament spot.
The Lady Patriots defeated the Eagles in four sets in the opening round, but this time around they came up short.
PSC matched CF kill-for-kill, defeating the Patriots in straight sets (19-25, 28-20, 21-25) on Sunday morning to clinch the third and final national tournament bid for Florida. In the loss, Rafaela Fonseca led the CF offense with eight kills and 14 digs, while Gage and Buse Ene each had seven. Chavers totaled 17 digs and Alvarez notched 20 assists.
CF closed out the 2016 season with an overall record of 28-6 and 10-0 in conference play, securing the program's sixth-straight Mid-Florida Conference title.