The Saints 2019 volleyball season came to an end as the team lost two matches in the double-elimination National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 8 tournament the weekend of November 1st.
After winning the Panhandle Conference championship the team earned a place in the post-season eight-team tournament. In what was probably the toughest Region 8 tournament in recent memory, the first challenge for the Saints, seeded #8, drew a match against #1 seed Polk State College. The Polk State College Eagles, in addition to having the #1 seeding in the tournament, are also ranked nationally #2 on the NJCAA poll.
The Saints lost the opening match to the Eagles in straight sets 14-25, 18-25, 11-25.
"When you are playing the #2 ranked team in the country, you are going to have to get some help from Polk, but they played great," said Saints head coach Nick Cheronis.
In their quest to stave off elimination, the second match of the day saw Santa Fe dropped a five-set heartbreaker to the Daytona State College Falcons 16-25, 9-25, 25-10, 25-20, 15-8. The Saints were led by sophomore middle blocker Natalia Martinez with nine kills, three blocks, and a service ace.
Cheronis commented, "Nat played her best volleyball of the year at the time when we needed her the most." He continued, "That says a lot about her character."
After dropping their final two matches the team finished the season with a record 11-12 (5-1 PC).