FGCU beach volleyball falls to Stetson in final round of ASUN Championship
After a strong win against No. 2 Mercer in Saturday’s first round of the ASUN Championship, the No. 3 FGCU beach volleyball team fell 3-1 to No. 1 Stetson in the final round of the championship.
The Eagles also took a 3-2 victory over No. 4 UNF which earned themselves a final round appearance.
“I’m so proud of this group for what they’ve accomplished this year,” head coach Matt Botsford said. “This weekend was just another example of how competitive and motivated this team is.
We constantly stress the idea of continued improvement throughout the season, and there is no doubt that we were a much better team at the end of the season than at the beginning. This
has been a record-breaking year, and to have an opportunity to play for a conference championship was another big step in this program’s evolution.”
In their first day of play, the Eagles’ No. 4 and 5 pairs quickly gave FGCU a 2-0 lead going into the final matches against No. 2 Mercer. This set the tone for the 4-1 victory over the Bears.
FGCU sealed the win with a two-set victory from First Team All-Conference No. 3 duo Katie Puisis and Karissa Rhoades.
At No. 5, Jordan and Krivdo had quick two-set wins of 21-16 and 21-13. The No. 4 pair of Wilcox and Pudwill came back to win their match after falling in the first set.
Puisis and Rhoades earned the match-winning point in straight sets at No. 3 with scores of 21-16 and 21-14.
The Eagles’ 4-1 win over Mercer forced FGCU to face the nationally ranked Hatters in day two of play.
FGCU did not have as much success against Stetson, as the team dropped all five matches in two sets even after extras in several matches.
The Hatter’s win automatically sent them to the final match, while the Eagles had to face off against the reigning champions, North Florida.
In the match against UNF, the Eagles’ No. 2, 3 and 4 pairs secured wins, sending FGCU to the final match.
FGCU and UNF split the opening matches with a tough loss at the No. 5 position, but a strong three-set win from the No. 4 spot made the score 1-1.
The final three matches were extremely close. The No. 3 pair of Katie Puisis and Karissa Rhoades were victorious in two sets by scores of 21-17 and 23-21.
At No. 1, Allen and Carroll fell in straight sets to UNF, but with the match tied at 2-2, Giovanna Borgiotti and Ashley Glickert forced a third, where they took 15-9 set win and a 3-2 match victory.
In the Championship match, Stetson took the first win at the No. 5 positon and, from there, continued to dominate.
The only victory against Stetson came from the No. 4 duo of Wilcox and Pudwill, who took their match in back-to-back 24-22 set wins, making the score 1-1.
However, in the final three matches, Stetson’s No. 2 and 3 pairs each won in two sets to end the match and claim the ASUN title.