CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — For the second straight year, the University of Central Arkansas Sugar Bears will play for the Southland Conference volleyball title and an automatic NCAA berth.
It wasn’t easy.
The Sugar Bears defeated turned back a strong challenge from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi for a 25-13, 25-27, 25-22, 25-11 victory Saturday in the semifinals.
Central Arkansas won its 28th match of the year against three losses while A&M-Corpus Christi finished the season with an 20-12 record. The Islanders reached the semifinals for the first time in school history.
The Sugar Bears will play Northwestern State on Sunday for the title and the opportunity to advancee to the NCAA tourney for the second straight year.
"I want to congratulate the Islanders on making the tournament as they gave us a run for our money," said UCA coach David McFatrich. "In moving forward to tomorrow, we have the ingredients to be a really good team. At the end of the day, it comes down to who is going to execute on the little things that will determine who wins the championship."
Central Arkansas had three players in double-digits in kills and four in digs. Marissa Collins recorded a double-double with 56 assists and 10 digs while Heather Schnars finished with 21 kills and 14 digs. Shelbee Berringer led the Sugar Bears defense with a match-high 19 digs.
The Sugars Bears faced the Lady Demons twice in the regular-season taking both matches in four sets. The championship match will be carried exclusively on ESPN3.