FSW Steamrolls Rustlers To Advance to First Final Four

The Bucs celebrate a point in their NJCAA National Tournament Quarterfinal win over Central Wyoming. (Photo by Roy Allen)
The Bucs celebrate a point in their NJCAA National Tournament Quarterfinal win over Central Wyoming. (Photo by Roy Allen)
WEST PLAINS, MO.- The #1 Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers rolled to their second three set victory of the day Thursday night at the NJCAA National Tournament as they took on the #9 Central Wyoming Rustlers and in doing so earning their first trip to the NJCAA Final Four in program history in the process. 
The Bucs came out on fire early on, jumping out to an 11-3 lead in the first after a pair of aces at the service line from Maria Cecilia. The Bucs looked like they were going to have smooth sailing as they led it 14-5 moments later, but a 6-1 run by the Rustlers got them back into things before another burst had the game tied at 17.  Back to back kills from Cecilia and Alondra Alarcon got the Bucs back on track and they finished the set strong, outscoring Central Wyoming 8-4 over the final 12 points to take the set 25-21 and go ahead 1-0 in the match. 
Barbara Koehler started the second set on the service line for the Bucs and ripped serve after serve into the middle of the Rustler defense, dialing up four aces, including three straight to get FSW out to an early 6-1 lead.  The Bucs continued to push, opening up a 13-5 lead on a kill from Izzy Collier in the middle before Alarcon went down the line to make it 17-9. Central Wyoming again showed some fight, but it wasn't enough to challenge the Bucs as FSW finished off the second 25-15 to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match. 
FSW came out in the third firing from all directions at the Rustlers, scoring the first seven points of the period to take a 7-0 lead. Once Central Wyoming found their footing, they worked their way back into the set, cutting the Bucs lead to 15-11 with three straight points midway through. Collier and Barbara Koehler combined for a big block to get the Bucs back on track and an ace from Roberta Purashaj made it 19-14. Another ace moments later from Arianna Rossi put the Bucs on the verge of the win before Alarcon pounded one to the floor to seal it as FSW took the third 25-17 to sweep the match 3-0. 
Koehler just missed a double-double with 11 kills and 9 digs in the win while also dialing up 4 aces. Alarcon matched her output with 11 kills of her own while Cecilia finished with 7 and also had 4 aces. Rossi paced FSW in digs for the second straight game with 15 while Collier was the Bucs top blocker with 4 in the win. 
FSW matches a program record set last season with their 25th win of the season, improving to 25-1 on the year.  Central Wyoming falls to 24-10 on the season with the loss. 
The Bucs are back in action Friday night in the Final Four where they will take on the host squad and 5th seeded Missouri State-West Plains in a 7:30 PM (ET) first serve from the West Plains Civic Center.