Rock'em, Sock'em, Lakehawk 'em! Lake-Sumter wins DII volleyball crown

Lake-Sumter State College Volleyball
Photo courtesy of Alice Mary Herden

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (November 5, 2018) - Lake-Sumter State College defeated Pasco-Hernando State College in a thrilling five-set match to capture the FCSAA's first-ever Division II volleyball championship.

With the win, Lake-Sumter State punched its first-ever ticket to a NJCAA tournament in any sport.

Four schools - Gulf Coast State College, Lake-Sumter State, South Florida State College and St. Johns River State College - joined Pasco-Hernando State and Florida Gateway College to form the FCSAA's Division II Sun-Lakes Conference in volleyball in 2018. With it, came a NJCAA District Tournament and automatic bid to nationals. 

Pasco-Hernando State won the regular season championship with an undefeated record in league play. Lake-Sumter State finished second, its only two Sun-Lakes losses coming to the Bobcats. With first-round byes, both teams needed only one win to set up a 1 vs. 2 showdown for the tournament championship. 

Pasco-Hernando State knocked off South Florida State, 3-0 while Lake-Sumter State needed five sets to knock out St. Johns River State. 

In the final, the Lakehawks jumped out to a two-set lead, winning 26-24 and 25-19, but the Bobcats took the next two sets, 25-17 and 27-25, to force a fifth and deciding set. In the the final set, Lake-Sumter State won 15-13 to claim the championship. 

Lake-Sumter State's Emma Gray was voted the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. She was joined on the all-tournament team by Gabriela Hernandez, Lake-Sumter State; Talyn Allard, Lake-Sumter State; Camden Bitter, Pasco-Hernando State; Abby Epstein, Pasco-Hernando State; Caslin Layer, Pasco-Hernando State; Hannah Foecker, St. Johns River State; and Emma Rustenbergh, South Florida State.

Lake-Sumter State's Amanda Phelps was named Coach of the Year.