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FGCU beach volleyball finishes 3-1 at Tiger Beach Challenge

(Photo courtesy of Linwood Ferguson)

The FGCU beach volleyball team was undefeated going into day two of the Tiger Beach Challenge, but suffered a 0-5 loss against South Carolina, ending the two-day tournament 3-1.
On day one, the Eagles went undefeated with a 5-0 win over UAB and a 3-2 win against Houston Baptist. To begin day two, FGCU took a 3-2 win over Spring Hill College but suffered from their only loss to the Gamecocks, 0-5.
In the matches against UAB and Houston Baptist, the No. 1 pairing of Mackenzie Allen and Amanda Carroll took three-set wins in both of their matches.
At the No. 2 spot, Giovanna Borgiotti and Ashley Glickert had a 2-0 win over UAB with sets of 21-17 and 21-19 before falling to Houston Baptist in three sets.
The No. 3 pairing of Katie Puisis and Karissa Rhoades also had a two-set UAB win, but then suffered from a three-set loss to the Huskies.
No. 4 senior duo Madi Wilcox and Leigh Pudwill went to three against UAB, before winning in two sets against Houston Baptist.
The Eagle’s No. 5 pairing of Caroline Jordan and Halie Wekmeister won both of their matches in just two sets.
FGCU then went into day two with play against Spring Hill (Ala.) and South Carolina. The Eagles split play with a 3-2 win over Spring Hill and a 0-5 loss to No. 10 South Carolina.
The No. 1, 4 and 5 pairings won their first match of the day, but no FGCU pair could take down the Gamecocks.
Yet, the No. 1, 2 and 3 spots took their opponents to three sets against South Carolina.
The No. 4 duo of Madi Wilcox and Leigh Pudwill started off the day with a two-set victory, while the No. 3 and 5 pairs each took their matches to three sets.
No. 2 duo of Katie Puisis and Karissa Rhoades fell after two sets in their match, before a victory at the No. 1 spot by Mackenzie Allen and Amanda Carroll.
The No. 4 and 5 pairs fell quickly to start play against the Gamecocks.
However, pairs one, two and three nearly took victories after splitting the first two sets in each match. In the end, the Gamecocks took all games, sweeping the Eagles.
“This was a great weekend for our team, and I’m really pleased with the progress we are making,” head coach Matt Botsford said. “Heading into that match with South Carolina at 3-0 on the weekend, the girls felt very confident. Against South Carolina, we dug ourselves a pretty big hole, but I love the way our one, two and three pairs responded.”
Next, FGCU will host Webber International for the second time this season on Wednesday, March 22 beginning at 4 p.m.

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