The Santa Fe Saints (16-10) battled back from a 2-1 set deficit on Friday afternoon against 22-4 Palm Beach State College to win 3-2 and advance on in the FCSAA Tournament winner’s bracket, setting up a battle against the College of Central Florida on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. The winner will clinch a berth in the NJCAA Tournament in Casper, Wyoming.
Palm Beach (22-5) controlled the tempo in the first set, pulling away down the stretch for the 25-20 win. The Saints answered in a big way in set two to even things up at 1-1.
In the third set it looked like SF was going to run away with it. They jumped out to a 16-10 lead but it was short lived. After a time out the Panthers clawed back and took the lead for good, hanging on for a 25-23 win and a 2-1 lead.
Staring down a deficit and needing to win the final two sets, the Saints picked their game up, winning set four 25-21.
In the fifth and deciding set, Santa Fe took control and led 13-8 but the Panthers quickly erased it, charging back with five straight points. Following a timeout, the Saints nailed down the last two points and secured the victory.
The Saints and Patriots will meet for the third time this season at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday to determine a National Tournament participant. CF won the first two meetings between the teams. Every game of the tournament will be broadcast on the FCSAA YouTube page.
Full tournament info: http://www.thefcsaasports.com/championships/fcsaa_volleyball_tournament