West Haven, Conn. - For the first time in school history, the University of Bridgeport women's volleyball team has won the NCAA Division II East Regional Title and advances to the NCAA Quarterfinals which begins on Thursday, December 1 at a site to determine early next week, with a four-set win over the top-seeded and host University of New Haven Chargers, 25-18, 25-20, 23-25, 26-24. UB moves on with a 21-7 record, and UNH closes out its season with a 23-7 mark. The Purple Knights will face the University of Tampa, winners of the South Region, in the NCAA National Quarterfinals.
This is the third straight season that Bridgeport has reached the NCAA East Regional Finals, and the third straight season that UB has defeated New Haven in the NCAA Tournament. The last two years the Purple Knights have prevailed over the Chargers in the regional semifinals.
Freshman Biljana Savic (Novi Sad, Serbia) led Bridgeport with 20 kills, and she was joined in double figures by senior Fernanda Costa (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) with 13 and freshman Larissa Oliveira (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) with 10 kills.
Senior setter Tamara Leite (Natal Brazil) dished out 50 assists for the winners, and Taylor McBeth (Langley, B.C., Canada) led the Bridgeport defense with 25 digs.
UNH's Keidy Candelaria led all players with 25 kills.
After winning the first two sets, and seeing the Chargers battle back to take set three, the Purple Knights rallied to score five straight points to win the deciding fourth set, 26-24.
Said third-year head coach Leo Uzcategui, "I am so proud of this team. They accomplished a first for the University by staying focused and batteling for every point. It was a team effort all weekend, as every player, both on the court or on the bench, played a role in our success. We defeated three fine teams in NYIT, Dowking and New Haven. The ladies played like champions, and they were rewarded."
Four members of the Bridgeport squad were selected to the 2011 NCAA All-East Regional Team: Biljana Savic, Larissa Oliveira, Tamara Leite and junior Sabrina Simas (Blumenau, Brazil).
Provided by the Bridgeport Sports Information Department.