The FCSAA #6/NJCAA #20 Santa Fe Saints and #1/#9 Palm Beach State College Panthers put on a show in the first match of the day on Saturday morning, going the distance in a five set thriller (25-23, 23-25, 22-25, 25-23, 16-14). The games were separated by a total of 11 points with SF taking sets one, four and five, and PBSC winning two and three.
The fifth set appeared to be over when the Panthers took a commanding 13-7 lead in a race to 15, but the ever-resilient Saints mounted a 9-1 run and pulled off the 16-14 win, capping the victory with an emphatic block by Kaylin Powell.
“You have to hand it to our players, they keep finding ways to win matches,” said SF Coach Nick Cheronis. “It was simply remarkable.”
Nadine Williams had a team high 18 kills in the win, Kelly Collins had 27 digs, Amanda Torres had 32 assists, and Sheyanne Sullivan and Amanda Torres combined on nine service aces.
In the second match of the day for SF, the Saints jumped out and won the first two sets 25-16 and 25-17. The Panthers of South Florida refused to give in and won the third set 25-20 to trim the margin to 2-1. SF bounced back in the fourth set to close things out with a 25-17 victory.
Sullivan had a big match, picking up nine kills and 17 digs. Williams had 12 kills and 13 digs, Torres had 28 assists, and Collins 25 assist.
The 8-1 Saints will be at home once again on Wednesday, September 16 at 7 p.m. against Webber International.