Eagles finish second at state tournament

Eagles players and coaches celebrate after receiving awards for finishing second in state tournament. (Photo by Tom Hagerty, Polk State.)
Eagles players and coaches celebrate after receiving awards for finishing second in state tournament. (Photo by Tom Hagerty, Polk State.)

Playing today for the FCSAA state championship, Polk State lost to Miami Dade College 3-0 to end the FCSAA State/NJCAA District Tournament in Bradenton.

The Sharks entered the game undefeated on the season and ranked No.1 in both the NJCAA and the FCSAA. The Eagles played well but lost 17-25, 22-25, and 17-25.

The Eagles advance to the NJCAA Division 1 Volleyball Championship in Hutchison, Kansas, as the NJCAA District H representative. Polk State has now qualified for the national tournament for four straight years. Last year the Eagles made the Final Four, finishing third. 

"We proved today that we can play high-level volleyball," said Head Coach German Del Valle. 

"I think anyone who was here today enjoyed the last match. We played really well against Miami Dade. 

"Everybody knows you have to play almost perfect to beat them. In the second set we were right there, and I don't want to offer any excuses, but when our best hitter, Chiara Bosetti, went down with an injury that changed the game. 

"But you have to give credit to Miami Dade. They're good, they played well, and they were the better team. Once again, I'm so proud of our kids. They played high-level volleyball today." 

Against Miami Dade, Manuela Vargas had 18 assists, nine digs, and two blocks. 

Bosetti recorded seven digs, six kills, and an ace before leaving the match with an ankle injury. 

Kathya Garcia added five kills, four digs, and two blocks. 

Diana Carranza made 17 digs, and an assist. 

Alexa Barral contributed four kills and three blocks. 

Veronika Nemcova had six digs, five kills, and a block. 

Weiying Wu finished with six digs and three kills. 

Anilise Fitzi tallied three blocks, two kills, and two digs. 

Nicky Pio had seven assists, two digs, and a kill. 

Kaylee Gartino made two kills, while Aurora Alderman made three digs and Dominika Nemcova made two. 

Polk State earned a shot at the state championship by defeating St. Petersburg College (No. 3 FCSAA, No. 11 NJCAA) 3-1 (25-19, 23-25, 25-22, 25-17) this morning. 

Vargas led the Eagles with 49 assists, 10 digs, two kills, and an ace.

Bosetti reached double figures in kills (21) and digs (12).

Garcia made 18 kills, 10 digs, a block, and three aces. 

Fitzi contributed nine kills, two blocks, and a dig. 

Carranza recorded 24 digs and five assists. 

Veronika Nemcova added seven kills and a block. 

Alderman finished with three digs and a pair of aces. 

Barral added two blocks. 

Bosetti, Fitzi, Garcia, and Vargas were named to the All-Tournament Team.

The Eagles (17-8, 7-2, No. 4 FCSAA) begin play in the national tournament Nov. 16.