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Tampa advances to VB Elite 8

© St. Petersburg Times
published November 25, 2002

TAMPA -- Ania Ruiz never forgot the feeling.

Ruiz and the Spartans lost in five games to eventual national champion Barry in the NCAA Division II Volleyball South Region final last year.

"I still have that game in my head from last year, and that carried through today," Ruiz said. "We talked about (that loss) every day."

Tampa avenged last season's loss by beating Barry 30-23, 30-27 and 31-29 Sunday to advance to the Elite Eight.

The Spartans play Northern Colorado, winner of the North Central Region, in the quarterfinals beginning Dec. 5.

Ruiz was one of three Spartans to reach double figures in kills, a game-high 15. Freshmen Amber Langston and Ericka Womack had 12 and 10, respectively.

"(Langston) has come up big for us most of the season," Tampa coach Chris Catanach said. "And we are better than last year because of (Womack) being more athletic than the players we lost last year."

Defensive specialist Krissi MacIntyre, setter Gretchen Naruta and outside hitters Ruiz and Langston were named to the all-tournament team.

SOCCER: Goalkeeper Kerry York gave up an early goal as Florida State failed to advance to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals with a 1-0 loss to host Connecticut. The Huskies' Brittany Barakat scored 1 minute, 10 seconds into the first.

-- Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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