Florida SouthWestern's volleyball team has earned its first NJCAA Division 1 national championship on Saturday, Nov. 19 after defeating No. 6 Miami-Dade 25-16, 12-25, 25-20, 25-16
The No. 1 Bucs (27-1) were crowned champions in their second title game appearance in the program's four year history. The win was particularly sweet for FSW, defeating the rival Sharks for the third straight time this season.
To earn their spot in the title match, the Bucs swept No. 8 Central Wyoming and No. 5 Missouri State-West Plains.
In the championship, the Bucs got off to an early lead, taking a 10-6 lead behind back-to-back Maria Cecilia kills. The led never shrunk in the first set, with the Bucs winning 25-16.
In the second match, the Sharks responded by jumping out to a 9-1 lead, and held a double-digit advantage all the way to a 25-12 victory.
FSW regained momentum in the third set behind a strong defensive effort from Julia Lawrenz to earn a 10-5 lead. Roberta Purashaj added back-to-back aces to extend the Buc lead to 18-8. The Sharks scored seven unanswered to trim the lead, but FSW held on and closed out the set 25-20.
The final frame was a back-and-forth battle, highlighted by a 10-10 draw. Shark miscues gave the Bucs their opportunity to take the lead, which Alonda Alarcon did with back-to-back aces. FSW closed out the title bout with a 25-16 win.
The Bucs hit .133 in the win, led by three Bucs who talled double digit kills. Barbara Koehler had a team-high 12 kills and 15 digs, while Alarcon added 10 kills, six aces, and 8 digs. Cecilia tacked on 10 kills and 9 digs to the championship effort.
The Bucs defeated Florida State College at Jacksonville 96-75 on Thursday, led by Dezdrick Lindsay's 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting off the bench. Bradley Douglas added 19 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals with 5 turnovers. Jadrian Tracy, Tyson Brown, and Wesley Oba tacked on 12 points each in the win.
On Friday, FSW defeated Spartanburg Methodist 87-58. Jadrian Tracy had 14 points, 11 rebounds, and four steals in the win. Tyson Brown added 14 points on 7-of-12 shooting with 11 rebounds, eight of which came from the offensive glass.
FSW improves to 3-3 after the wins.
The Bucs lost to No. 13 Eastern Florida 74-54 on Friday after a tough shooting night, shooting just 30% from the field in the loss. Jayla Murray led all scorers with 23 points on 9-of-23 shooting with 9 rebounds and 2 steals.
On Saturday, the No. 18 Bucs defeated Santa Fe 67-63 behind an efficient night from the field, shooting 42% as a team. Jayla Murray had 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting with 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Mararena Retamales and Aaliyah Williams added 16 points each to the win.
The Bucs improve to 5-2 after the win.
This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: FSW Volleyball Wins first NJCAA Championship