By ROD GIPSON
© St. Petersburg Times, published November 18, 2000
TAMPA -- Barry and Tampa spent five years on even ground. From 1995-99 the Buccaneers and Spartans split their volleyball season series.
That changed this year as UT beat Barry twice during the regular season and Friday beat the Buccaneers 15-3, 15-13, 15-7 in the second round of the Division II South Region tournament at UT's Bob Martinez Sports Center.
Top-seeded UT dominated the match from the beginning, turned back a potential Barry rally in the second game and wore out the Bucs by the third.
UT (28-3) advanced to today's 6 p.m. title match with second seed North Florida. The winner goes on to the Elite Eight.
"That was probably one of our more stingy performances," UT coach Chris Catanach said. "Our kids were really focused and in tune. We did a great job to be so focused on this match."
That focus showed early as UT blew out Barry (24-10) in the opening game. But the Bucs came back from a 6-1 deficit in the second game to force a 12-12 tie.
But the Spartans' more physical frontline, led by hitters Ania Ruiz, Tiffany Boatwright and Kam Gillispie, helped the Spartans pull out the game and go on to take the match.
"We thought this would be closer based on how they've played us before," said Gillispie, who had nine kills and 11 digs. "But we had some tough practices this week and we really came in here with a lot of confidence."
Ruiz led the Spartans with 17 kills and setter Gretchen Narutta provided a match-high 39 assists. Hitter Jade Harper led the Bucs with 18 kills.
North Florida (27-6) won 15-6, 15-12, 15-9 over Armstrong (Ga.) Atlantic (29-10). UNF got 11 kills from Lauren Westervelt.
CONFERENCE USA: South Florida set a school record with its 19th straight victory, 15-10, 16-14, 10-15, 15-9 over Saint Louis in the quarterfinals at Charlotte, N.C.
The top-seeded Bulls fell behind 14-8 in the second game but thwarted several game points and won eight consecutive points to take the game.
Michelle Collier led USF with 27 kills, Rachelle Paul tied a season high with 20 and Kelly Mathiasmeier had 12 kills and 15 digs.
"Saint Louis came to play and turned in a great effort," USF coach Nancy Mueller said. "We had some key plays from Mathiasmeier, and Paul was able to turn it up a notch when we needed it."
USF (26-4) faces Houston, a 3-0 winner over DePaul, at 1 p.m. today in the semifinals.
Also, No. 3 seed Louisville defeated Tulane 3-1 and No. 2 Cincinnati swept UNC Charlotte. Louisville and Cincinnati play at 3 today.
ACC: No. 5 seed Duke eliminated No. 4 Florida State 16-14, 15-10, 4-15, 15-10 at Winston-Salem, N.C.
Senior outside hitter Jennifer Werrick led the Seminoles (21-11) with 25 digs and added 10 kills. Duke advanced to play top seed Georgia Tech today in the semifinals.
No. 2 seed North Carolina defeated Maryland 3-1 and plays No. 6 Virginia in the other semifinal. Virginia upended No. 3 and host Wake Forest in four games.
SEC: Top seed Florida swept Mississippi 15-2, 15-7, 15-4 in the quarterfinals at Gainesville.
Benavia Jenkins had 14 kills and Kris Bova had 35 assists to lead the Gators.
The Gators face Tennessee, a 3-0 winner over Arkansas, at 1 p.m. today in the semifinals. Two upsets set up the 3 p.m. semifinal: No. 6 seed Georgia, which defeated No. 3 South Carolina in five games, faces No. 7 LSU, which knocked off No. 2 Alabama in five.
CLEMSON 2, FSU 0: The Seminoles (14-8-2), making their first NCAA appearance, were eliminated at Clemson, S.C., in the third round.
"Clemson was as good as expected tonight," FSU coach Patrick Baker said. "They not only played well but they forced us to play uncharacteristically. I give our team credit for never giving up and keeping the game close."
In the 40th minute, Clemson's Tatum Clowney took a pass from Julie Augustyniak and beat Seminole keeper Sarah Crawford to put the Tigers (19-2-1) up 1-0.
Clemson added to its lead 18 minutes into the second half when freshman Allison Mitchell took a pass from sophomore Heather Beem and scored the final goal. The Tigers outshot FSU 15-1 in the second half.
"We ran into a buzz saw. ... They played extremely well and they really lived up to their billing," Baker said.
In other third-round games, Penn State defeated Dartmouth 4-0, Notre Dame eliminated Harvard 2-0 and Connecticut edged Nebraska 1-0. Today, defending champion North Carolina hosts Virginia and Santa Clara is at Brigham Young.
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