‘Dig Pink” Game Provides Memories For Panthers

By  //  October 6, 2012

FIT Hosts Florida Southern Saturday

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Florida Tech’s Third Annual Dig Pink Game will go down as one to remember after the Panthers pulled out a five-set win over Saint Leo (25-22, 22-25, 25-18, 18-25, 23-21) Friday night at the Clemente Center.

Senior Janice Valies hammered down a game-high 20 kills for Florida Tech in a memorable volleyball win Friday over St. Leo. (Image courtesy Florida Tech)

The win is FIT’s first over Saint Leo since Nov. 4, 2005.

The Panthers now stand at 11-5 on the season and 2-3 in Sunshine State Conference play, while the Lions drop to 6-7, 0-5 SSC.

With the match tied at two games apiece, the fifth and final set was nothing short of spectacular. It included 18 ties and seven lead changes. The largest lead was three points and it occurred following a Lions block by Jordan Sisson and Sami Vierk to set up match point for Saint Leo.

Florida Tech ould rally starting with a kill by Kaitlin Brennan from Janice Valies. Alexis Mastela then set up Caitlyn Ballweber to make it a one-point game and force a Saint Leo timeout. Erin Hughes then recorded her fourth service ace of the match to tie the set at 14-all.

Both teams went back and forth until the ball returned to Hughes’ hands following a kill by Valies to even the set at 21. Hughes’ first serve resulted in a Lions attack error. With the match on the line, Brennan and Ballweber stuffed a Saint Leo attack to set off pandemonium among the Panthers and their fans.

Valies hammered down a game-high 20 kills. Ballweber and Kim Juriga also reached double figures in kills with 11 each. Angie Lassman nearly reached the 30-dig plateau, finishing with 29. Hughes ended with 14 digs, and Juriga surpassed her kills total with 12 digs.

Florida Southern will travel to Melbourne on Saturday for a SSC match-up with the Panthers at 4 p.m. at the Clemente Center.