BELIZE CITIY, Mon. Oct. 30, 2023
Belize national women’s volleyball team player Fatima Ramirez and her Edward Waters University female volleyball team, the Lady Tigers, have won the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) East Division with a 17-2 record, (20-6 overall, 11-1 in the East Division), second in the entire conference, trailing only West Division and conference leader, 4-time defending champions Spring Hill College Badgers’ undefeated 18-0 conference record (26-4 overall).
The Lady Tigers finished last year’s tournament with a 26-10 overall record, 17-2 in SIAC play in the regular season, and clinched the 2022 SIAC East Division Championship, but lost the SIAC championship to West Division Champion Spring Hill College in the regional tournament.
They also lost to Spring Hill, 0-3 (20-25, 13-25, 18-25) on Saturday, September 30, when they played last month. They are hoping for revenge if, as widely anticipated, they meet Spring Hill again in the regional tournament’s championship finals.
Edward Waters Lady Tigers completed the last games of their SIAC 2023 schedule by blanking conference and division rivals the Savannah State University Tigers (8-10 conference, 12-11 overall, 4-7 in the East Division), in Savannah, Georgia, 3-0 (25-16, 25-13, 25-21), on Monday, October 30. Fatima led the Lady Tigers with 22 kills and contributed 8 digs.
On Tuesday, October 31, they hosted their East Division second place rivals Albany State University Golden Rams (16-3 conference, 18-13 overall, 10-2 in the East Division) and dropped a hard-fought 2-3 decision (21-25, 25-14, 26-24, 18-25, 11-15), despite Fatima’s 25 kills, an ace, 2 blocks, and 10 digs.
They closed out their regular season on Wednesday, November 1 by hosting the Fort Valley State University Wildcats at home in the Adams-Jenkins Community Sports & Music Complex, in Jacksonville, Florida, and cruised to a 3-0 (25-13, 25-19, 25-13) victory. Fatima recorded 12 kills, served 3 aces, and came up with 8 digs in the match.
The Cricket Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) announced that the 2023 Cricket SIAC Women’s Volleyball Championship will be held at the Tsunami Center in Jonesboro, Georgia, commencing next Thursday, November 9, at 10:00 a.m.
Eight SIAC teams will play in the 4 quarterfinals 4 matches on Thursday, November 9, with the winners of those matches competing in 2 semifinals matches, and then those 2 winners playing in the championship game on Friday, November 10.
The SIAC announced that “during the 2023 Cricket SIAC Women’s Volleyball Championship, the conference will present additional awards and honors to outstanding student-athletes and coaches who have displayed exemplary dedication and skill: 2023 SIAC Women’s Volleyball All-Tournament Team, 2023 SIAC Women’s Volleyball Coach of the Year, 2023 SIAC Women’s Volleyball Player of the Year, 2023 SIAC Women’s Volleyball Setter of the Year, 2023 SIAC Women’s Volleyball Libero of the Year, and 2023 SIAC Women’s Volleyball Freshman of the Year.”
Fatima Ramirez #9, a 6′ 2″ Junior, is an Outside and Opposite, and the reigning SIAC Player of the Year and Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. She leads the SIAC in kills per set (5.06), and her team with 445 total kills from 1106 attempts for a .287 hitting percentage in 88 sets played.
She also leads the Lady Tigers and the entire conference with 51 service aces (0.58% per set), total points 521.5, (5.93 per set), and was twice named the conference’s Offensive Player of the Week this season.