BOCA RATON – Lynn University's volleyball team will partake in the first round of the 2010 Division II NCAA Tournament Thursday night against an opponent they are very familiar with in Sunshine State Conference rival, Barry. Opening serve for the matchup on November 18 is slatedfor 5 p.m. at the University of Tampa's Bob Martinez Center.
Earning the fourth seed in the South Region, the Fighting Knights and the fifth-seeded Buccaneers tied for second in the SSC with identical 11-5 records in conference play. Overall, Lynn finished with a 20-9 regular season record while Barry finished 16-6. The fierce rivals split a pair of games this season, with the home team victorious in three sets on both occasions.
Finishing the regular season with 20 wins, it is the fourth consecutive year that Lynn has reached that plateau. Twenty seems to be the magic number for the Fighting Knights as this is also the fourth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance for the Blue and White.
Barry took the first match on September 21 in three (25-19, 25-20, 25-23) where it outhit Lynn, .216 to .140. Julia Teixeira was unstoppable for the Bucs as she recorded a match-high 15 kills on 35 swings to hit .314 on the night.
One bright spot for Lynn that evening was in its blocking as Kala Abdell, Sophie Gagnon and Haley Pratt combined for 12 total blocks. Pratt also led the Fighting Knights with seven kills and a .312 hitting percentage.
Lynn swept Barry at the de Hoernle Center on October 27, with a dominant but extremely well-balanced attack. Abdell, Gagnon and Katie Bradley led the team with just eight kills, but six kills by Pratt and Chelsey Semprini, as well as five more by setter Devon Woolard provided all the offense Lynn would need.
LU hit .371 for the match, its second-highest of the year, while the blocking combination of Abdell, Gagnon and Pratt combined for 13 more blocks.
Teixeira still had a solid game for the Bucs in the loss, finishing with 13 kills while hitting .290.
Hosting the South Regional, Tampa earned the top seed after winning the SSC with a 15-1 conference record and will take on SIAC Champion Kentucky State shortly after the Lynn vs. Barry matchup. The winners of those two matches will face each other Friday night at 7:30 pm.
On the other side of the bracket, No. 2 West Florida takes on No. 7 North Alabama, while No. 3 Florida Southern challenges No. 6 Rollins.
Fans can follow the action by logging onto www.LynnFightingKnights.com and clicking on "Game Central."