Jacksonville, Fla.-- After knocking off a conference rival, the College of Central Florida volleyball team is one win away from its third straight trip to the national tournament and two wins away from repeating as state champions.
The Patriots (25-10) improved to 28-0 all-time against Mid-Florida Conference opponents with a 25-20, 25-18, 25-12 rout of FSC-Jacksonville on Saturday morning in the FCSAA State Tournament.
With the win, CF, ranked No. 10 in the nation, advances in the winner's bracket and will face either State College of Florida-Manatee or Polk State on Sunday morning at 9:30.
On Sunday, the Patriots need to defeat either SCOF or Polk one time in order to qualify for the national tournament.
To have its spot in the driver's seat, CF improved to 11-0 against FSC-J and 8-0 against the Blue Wave on the hosts' homecourt.
"We had a long talk (Saturday) before the game and we talked about all of the new things that we've learned this season," said CF coach Flavia Siqueira, whose team is 3-0 at the state tournament against FSC-J all-time. "We talked about this being the time to put all of those things to use and every player on-and-off the court played their role.
"(FSC-J) played a tough match, but I felt we served well and this allowed us to get into our offense."
Brittney Brown (10 kills, four blocks), Amanda Saunders (nine kills, two blocks), Raveen Golston (seven kills, six digs), Marina Adami (30 assists), Jorddalys Santos (12 digs) and Lauren Powell (six digs) led the way for CF.
The Patriots weathered an early storm from the Blue Wave, who upset No. 9 Miami Dade in five sets on Friday.
FSC-J, which earned its second straight win over Miami-Dade after never defeating the Sharks in over for 35 seasons, was hit by a 7-2 run from the Patriots to end the first set.
Saunders came up with a kill to put CF ahead for good at 19-18 and Brown had two key kills down the stretch in as set, which was ended by an ace from Cristina Llorens.
CF continued to ride the momentum in the second set and strong serving by Adami sparked a 6-0 run to put her team up 13-7.
The Blue Wave didn't quit and battled back to within 18-17, before Saunders had two kills and a block during a 7-1 run that closed the set.
From there, CF never trailed during the third set and led early 6-1.
FSC-J never got closer than three points the rest of the set, but Golston smashed three kills towards the end and the Patriots improved to 10-2 all-time at the state tournament.
CF will now focus on either SCOF or Polk.
During the regular season, the Patriots went 2-1 against SCOF, while they swept Polk State.