Straight Outta the Suncoast: Polk, Hillsborough, Pasco punch tickets to volleyball nationals

Photo courtesy of Pasco-Hernando State College
Photo courtesy of Pasco-Hernando State College

GULF BREEZE, Fla. (November 7, 2015) - Three teams from Region 8 clinched berths to the NJCAA volleyball tournaments on Saturday.

In Gulf Breeze, Fla., at the NJCAA District/FCSAA State Volleyball Tournament, a pair of Suncoast Conference rivals locked up berths to the NJCAA Division I Volleyball Tournament in Casper, Wyo., and set up a Sunday showdown for the FCSAA State Championship. 

FCSAA No. 2 Polk State College claimed the NJCAA District G championship and automatic bid to the national tournament with a four-set victory over the College of Central Florida (25-17, 25-20, 23-25, 25-18). Almost simultaneously, top-ranked Hillsborough Community College outlasted Palm Beach State College in a five-set thriller (25-20, 23-25, 22-25, 25-16, 15-12) to claim the District H title and join Polk State in the national tournament. 

Those two teams will play for the FCSAA State Championship on Sunday. 

Meanwhile, 800 miles away in Winterville, N.C., Pasco-Hernando State College, a one-time member of the Suncoast Conference, claimed its second straight District P Championship with a three-set victory over top-seed Catawba Valley (N.C.) Community College, 25-20, 25-16, 25-16.

Pasco-Hernando State's Danielle Christian, Nadine Mattmann and Teddi Wright were named to the all-tournament team while Wright was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.

The Quistas will now head to the NJCAA Division II Volleyball Tournament in Phoenix, Ariz. 

Region 8 has an opportunity for one final bid to the national tournament. 

On Sunday, FCSAA No. 3 Central Florida and No. 4 Indian River State College will play in the District P qualifier match. The loser goes home while the winner advances to Tuesday's District P Championship Game in Bay Minette, Ala.