Season closes with fourth-place finish

Spinnaker

A fourth-place finish in the NCAA Division I Provisional Tournament Nov. 22 closed the UNF volleyball team’s 2008 32-match season – its longest season since its transition to Division I.

UNF went 2-3 in the tournament with wins against North Carolina Central University and Winston-Salem State University. UNF lost to Presbyterian College, the University of Central Arkansas and the University of South Carolina Upstate.

“I was really proud of how they played for the tournament,” UNF head volleyball coach Kevin Campbell said. “I wanted them to play the same level they always do, but in reality, we’re down two outside hitters. They fought and passed well all weekend, not to mention they attacked offensively and served tough. I was really proud of that.”

UNF hit a season-best .333 in its 3-0 win against Winston-Salem State. Sophomore middle blocker and right side hitter Kaley Read led the Ospreys with 13 kills and seven digs, while senior middle blocker Bary Rasmussen hit a team-best .400.

UNF took an early 2-0 set lead in its match against Central Arkansas – the eventual winners of the tournament – but was not able to shut down its three-set comeback. Read and Rasmussen each had a double-double in the match.

In the tournament’s third place match, the Osprey players were defeated in four sets after dropping the first sets. Four Ospreys finished the match in double-digit kills, while Read tallied a tournament-high 20 kills.

“This is the longest season we’ve played [in Division I],” Campbell said. “So we fought through end-of-season injuries and being flat emotionally. I was really proud of how we pushed through that, especially with the energy we brought against a solid Central Arkansas team.”

Rasmussen was named to the all-tournament team after she hit a team-best .352 for the tournament and had 62 kills for an average of 3.44 per set. The tournament was the last in Rasmussen’s career as
an Osprey.

“Bary did a lot this tournament,” Campbell said. “She worked really hard to get to the pins and on the slide, and they couldn’t stop her. She was swinging really fast this weekend and also moved back and played solid defense, which she hasn’t done all season. I think she embraced having an all-around game.”

The Ospreys finished the 2008 season with a 13-19 record.

UNF will return 10 players to next year’s squad and will be eligible for Atlantic Sun Conference and NCAA
tournaments.

“I think the improvement this year came from the individuals that worked through last season,” Campbell said. “They came into this season with very serious ambitions. They are amazing, young women that got to work. We have a long way to go, but we have a great foundation of players that are very committed. It was wonderful to coach them this year.”

E-mail John Weidner at [email protected]