OCALA--The College of Central Florida women's volleyball team gutted out another five-set thriller over St. Petersburg College on Thursday night at Patriot Gym.
FCSAA No. 6 CF (7-6) handed the Titans its first loss of the season with a 3-2 win (25-23, 21-25, 25-18, 29-31, 17-15) in front of a home crowd that helped cheer the Lady Patriots to victory.
CF took a 1-0 lead and then fell behind 1-7 at the beginning of the second set. The Lady Pats would rally to tie it up 15-15 off a Veronica Brod Farias block, but SPC closed in down the stretch to take a 25-21 second set and tie it up at 1-1.
The Lady Patriots cruised to a 25-18 third set win and looked to have locked up the match in the fourth up 20-15, but the Lady Titans came charging back with a 5-0 run to tie it at 20-20. CF closed in on match point, up 24-21, but SPC went on a 4-0 run to pull ahead 25-24. Ten lead changes later and the Titans clinched a nail-biting 31-29 fourth set to send it to five.
It was a back-and –forth affair in the fifth with the Lady Patriots coming out victorious 17-15.
Marina Cruz recorded her second straight 20+ kill performance, leading the offense with 21 kills while middle blocker Veronica Brod Farias added 15 kills and recorded nine total blocks. Libero Kariema Rodriguez held down the backline with 18 digs and Ocala native Yomaries Villegas notched 14.
CF will have the weekend off before returning to the court on Tuesday, September 18 when it hosts State College of Florida-Manatee at 7 p.m.