#1 FSW Rolls To Opening Round Win at National Tournament

Izzy Collier (Photo by Roy Allen)
Izzy Collier (Photo by Roy Allen)
WEST PLAINS, Mo.- The top seeded Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers mowed through the #16 Wallace State Lions with clinical precision Thursday afternoon at the NJCAA National Tournament, needing less than an hour to put together a 3-0 win to advance to their second straight National Tournament Quarterfinal Thursday night where they will take on #9 Central Wyoming.  
The Bucs came out swinging in the first, jumping to an early 8-4 lead before opening up a 14-7 advantage midway through the set. Back to back kills from Izzy Collier in the middle made it 18-9 and a big back row swing from Alondra Alarcon finished off the set with the Bucs taking it 25-12 to go up 1-0 in the match. 
FSW got off to a slow start in the second, but trailing 11-9 with Barbara Koehler at the service line, the Bucs rolled off six straight points, including a pair of aces to flip the script and take a 15-11 lead.  The Bucs kept pushing and after three straight kills from three different players, it was 23-13 FSW before a kill on an overpass from Julia Lawrenz sealed the second 25-14 to give the Bucs a commanding 2-0 lead in the match. 
A big block from Lawrenz and Maria Cecilia early in the third set the pace for the Bucs and midway through the set it was all FSW again at 13-5. Later in the period Collier and Roberta Purashaj combined on a stuff to stretch the lead to 19-11 and the Bucs went on to score the final six points of the set to take it 25-11 and sweep the match 3-0.  
The Bucs hit .392 as a team in the win with 41 kills in the three setter while holding the Lions to just a .032 mark.  Koehler and Alarcon each had 11 kills on the outside while Purashaj dished out 34 assists and Arianna Rossi pulled up a game high 17 digs.  The Bucs combined for 10 blocks in the victory with Lawrenz getting in on 7 and Maria Cecilia another 3. 
The Bucs win their NJCAA National Tournament opener for the second straight season as they improve to 24-1 overall. Wallace State falls to 37-8. 
FSW will be back in action Thursday night at 8:30 (ET) in the quarterfinals when they take on #9 Central Wyoming in a rematch of an opening weekend matchup in Suncoast Arena in which the Bucs won 3-0.