Written by Chris Pendleton
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Southern Virginia University women's volleyball team won both of its matches at the USCAA national championship on Friday advancing to the tournament semi-finals on Saturday, Nov. 12 at noon against host school Spalding University.
After going 2-1 during Thursday's pool play, 5th-seeded Southern Virginia concluded its pool play Friday morning by upsetting 3rd-seeded Penn State-Fayette 2-1.
Southern Virginia dropped the opening set to Penn State-Fayette 23-25, but responded with a dominant 25-15 win in Game 2 forcing a tie-breaking third set, which the Knights took 15-11.
With the upset victory, Southern Virginia advanced past pool play to the national championship's eight-team, bracket-style tournament where the Knights took on 4th-seeded UC Clermont in the quarter finals.
Despite facing a second consecutive favored opponent, the Knights were undaunted sweeping past UC Clermont in straight sets (25-11, 25-20, 25-13).
"We came out really strong in our quarter-finals match," said first-year head coach Michelle Mahaffey, who has the Knights back in the national tournament after a one-year hiatus last season. "We opened with great intensity and played really well together."
With Friday's win over UC Clermont, the Knights advance to Saturday's semi-finals where they will be favored for the first time in three matches when they face tournament host, 6th-seeded Spalding University at noon.
If Southern Virginia is able to defeat Spalding on its home court, the Knights will advance to the title game at 4 p.m. for the first time since 2004 when volleyball won its last USCAA national championship under then head coach Mike Harmon.
With a loss, Southern Virginia will play in the tournament's consolation match at 2 p.m.
For complete coverage of the 2011 USCAA volleyball national tournament, vist theuscaa.com.