No. 10 PBA Advances to South Region Semis
December 1, 2016
Written By: TJ Budd, Sports Information Director
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – No. 10 Palm Beach Atlantic won for the 29th straight time on Thursday evening, sweeping Kentucky State in straight sets to advance to Friday’s semifinal of the NCAA South Region Tournament.
The Sailfish (29-3) used a balanced attack to sweep the Thorobreds, taking them down 25-17, 25-16, 25-14 as five players recorded at least five kills in the victory. PBA has won 32 straight inside Rubin Arena, a streak that dates back to 2014.
Sarah Ragland led the way with nine kills and hit .421 as PBA hit .348 in the match. She added a match-high six blocks as the ‘Fish collected 11.5 as a team. The Thorobreds – winners of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament – were held to a .053 attack on the night despite Tahje Ochs collecting a match-high 12 kills.
Abby Palkert added seven kills for the Sailfish with Olivia Finckel and Emma Ballantyne added six each. Molly Burkhardt added 21 assists as Beth Muhlenkamp collected 13. Susie Forbes led the team with 15 digs as Ally Rohn added 10.
The Sailfish never were able to gain a large advantage in the first set, ultimately stringing together back-to-back points on three occasions to take the set. In the second the ‘Fish needed a late run after KSU tied it up 13-13 midway through the set before the Sailfish scored 11 of the next 12 points to take a 24-14 lead. In the third the ‘Fish got out to a 19-10 lead as they cruised to victory.
PBA advances to the South Region semifinals for the third straight year and fourth time in five years. The ‘Fish will take on No. 4 seed West Florida in the second semi at 7:30 p.m. PBA also met UWF in the region tournament in 2014, defeating the Argos in the first round 3-1. The teams last met in 2015 at the South Region Crossover where the Sailfish won in straight sets. Friday’s first semifinal will feature No. 3 seed Tampa and No. 7 seed Florida Southern facing each other at 5 p.m.