FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. --- The Tusculum volleyball team split a pair of matches in day one of the 2017 Nova Southeastern University Shark Invitational, which is being held at the Rick Case Arena.
Tusculum opened the day with an impressive three-set sweep over defending NCAA Division II East Region champion American International. In TC's second match of the day, the Pioneers' dropped a 3-0 decision to defending Sunshine State Conference co-champion Saint Leo University to wrap up the opening day.
Tusculum 3, American International 0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-23)
Mariah Lewis recorded 10 kills, five blocks and a .600 hitting percentage to lead Tusculum to a three-set sweep over American International in Friday's opening match. The Pioneers won by scores of 25-20, 25-19, 25-23 to knock off the Yellow Jackets..
The Pioneers accounted for 9.0 team blocks and finished the contest hitting .277 on the day (40 kills, 12 errors, 101 attempts).
Cassie Born and Sabrina Schleuger each posted eight kills, while setter Shannon Murphy finished with 33 assists to go along with her two digs, two blocks and two service aces. Melissa Mazur tallied a match-high 16 digs and served up four aces in the Tusculum victory.
The Pioneers used an 11-4 run in the opening set and hit .267 in the frame to win 25-20 to take a 1-0 lead in the match. In the second set, Tusculum scored the first seven points of the frame and limited AIC to a .091 hitting percentage as the Pioneers prevailed 25-19. Tusculum rallied from a 19-14 deficit in the third set with another 11-4 spurt to seal the victory with a 25-23 score.
Diva Rivas led the Yellow Jackets (0-1) with 12 kills and Jana Potic contributed 11 kills and a .400 attack percentage).
Saint Leo 3, Tusculum 0 (25-21, 25-14, 25-22)
Nina Vattovaz led all players with 17 points and a .406 hitting percentage as Saint Leo went 2-0 on the day with a three-set sweep over Tusculum. The Lions won by scores for 25-21, 25-14, 25-22.
Saint Leo finished the game hitting .278 (46 kills, 14 errors, 115 attempts), including a sizzling .400 in the second set. Tusculum was held to .093 hitting in the match (30 kills, 20 errors, 108 attempts) as the Pioneers hit for a combined .067 in the first two sets of the contest.
SLU's Anna Garrett dished out 36 assists, while Jen Kruglova added 20 digs and three assists in the victory.
Lewis led the Pioneers once again with seven kills, while Schleuger also accounted for seven kills for the match. Shannon Murphy posted the season's first double-double with 25 assists and 10 digs, while Melissa Mazur contributed 15 digs defensively.
Tusculum will close out its Florida swing with Saturday matches against St. Anselm and host Nova Southeastern.