Sailfish Repeat as South Region Champions
December 3, 2016
Written By: Kennie Silvestri, Sports Information Assistant
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – For the second consecutive season the Palm Beach Atlantic volleyball team will be heading to the NCAA Division II Championships as they defeated Florida Southern College 3-1 Saturday night in front of a large crowd inside Rubin Arena. The 2015 team also defeated the Mocs by a 3-1 final to reach the Elite Eight. Saturday’s win is the 31st in a row for the Sailfish, as their record now stands at 31-3 on the season.
It was all PBA in the first set, as they hit .281 and forced the Mocs into a -.027 attack percentage. The ‘Fish received three kills each in the set from Sarah Ragland, Abby Palkert, Ally Rohn, and Maddie Span. Beth Muhlenkamp led the Sailfish with 6 assists in the set as the ‘Fish cruised to a 25-12 victory.
The second set was more of the same for Bob White’s team, as Rohn’s seven kills and no errors in the set led the ‘Fish to a 25-17 victory and a 2-0 lead in the match. Emma Ballantyne had four kills on six attacks in the set as Susie Forbes tallied 12 digs in the set.
The Moccasins, led by Anna Tovo, charged back in the third set, as the junior had 11 of her match high 20 kills in the set, leading the Mocs to a 25-22 win to force the fourth set.
The fourth set was back and forth early, as a Rohn kill tied the set at 9-9. The ‘Fish then rattled off three points in a row, and 11 out of the next 14, to take a commanding 20-13 lead. A Ballantyne kill finished the match for the Sailfish, who will advance to Sioux Falls, S.D. and begin play on Thursday Dec. 8.
Rohn led the ‘Fish with 18 kills on Saturday night and also added 17 digs. Ragland added 13 kills, hitting an impressive .600, and also led the team with three blocks. Ballantyne also finished with double-digit kills, as the senior finished with 10 kills on only 19 attacks. Forbes led the team with 31 digs while Molly Burkhardt finished with 39 assists and 16 digs.
Many other Sailfish had solid performances in the championship match, as Palkert finished with nine kills, Span finished with 8 kills, and Muhlenkamp finished with 15 assists on the night.
After the match, the All-Tournament Team was announced, with Ballantyne, Ragland, Rohn, and Finckel being named to the team.
Complete 2016 NCAA Division II South Region All-Tournament Team
Jamee Townsend – Libero – Saint Leo
Allee Stelegeannis – OH – Tampa
Monique StCyr – S – West Florida
Cora Bidlack – RS – West Florida
Nicol Colonna – RS – Lynn
Sarah Ragland – MB – Palm Beach Atlantic
Nicole Mattson – OH – Florida Southern
Olivia Finckel – RS – Palm Beach Atlantic
Bettany Besancenez – S – Florida Southern
Ally Rohn – OH – Palm Beach Atlantic
Anna Tovo – OH – Florida Southern
Emma Ballantyne – Palm Beach Atlantic