Lee Volleyball Wins Championship With 3-2 Victory Over Spring Hill, AL

Saturday, November 10, 2012
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - For the second straight year the Lee volleyball team defeated Spring Hill (Ala.) in the Southern States Athletic Conference championship match. Just like 2011, it took the Lady Flames five heart-pounding sets before claiming the 3-2 victory and locking in a direct path to the NAIA National Championship in Sioux City, Iowa.

With freshman Nicole Sumida, the tournament MVP, leading the way, Lee dropped the first set 30-32. Coach Andrea Hudson's club bounced back and won the next two set in convincing style, 25-14, 25-19.
But the Badgers would not go down without a tremendous fight. The Alabama club won set four 23-25 before the Lady Flames were able to claim the championship with a 15-12 win in the short set.

"I'm really proud of our girls," said coach Hudson. "I believe this is the hardest we have played all season and we did it against a very good volleyball team. They knew how important this match was toward our goal of advancing to the national tournament once again."

Sumida drilled 18 kills and finished with a .455 attack percentage. She also contributed six digs and three blocks. No less than five Lady Flames produced double-figure kills. Paula Martins had a .400 hitting mark and registered 17 kills to go along with five digs and three blocks. Lauren Williams continued to perform well and had 11 slams (.526 attack percentage). She also had three blocks.

Veteran performer Irene Ojukwu was not about to be outdone. She produced her usual double-double, 12 kills and 17 digs, while Marija Zelenovic went to the net for 15 kills, 10 digs and four blocks.

Camil Martinez dished off 60 big assists and joined a list of Lady Flames with a double-double after coming up with 15 digs and also contributing six kills. Libby Peigen helped keep the Lady Flames victory alive with 23 digs.

The Lady Flames improved to 27-9 on the year and Spring Hill dropped to 30-5.

Lee 3, Loyola (La.) 0

In an earlier semi-final match on Saturday, the Lady Flames had a much easier time in downing Loyola University 3-0 (25-23, 25-14, 25-23).

Ojukwu was the kill leader with 14, while Martins and Sumida added 11 apiece. Sumida stunned the Loyola club with five service aces and five blocks. Martinez collected 39 assists and Zelenovic had eight kills. Peigen notched 20 digs and Ojukwu garnered 10 digs. Martins and Williams also carded five blocks apiece.

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