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FGCU Beach VB Finishes 3-1, Stuns #15 FAU

Beach volleyball
(EN Photo / Kim Smith)

The FGCU beach volleyball team wrapped up their first four matches at FAU’s Burrow Beach Bash. The Eagles earned wins on day one against Houston Baptist (3-2) and Webber International (5-0) and split with a loss against #11 Georgia State (0-5) and a win over host #15 FAU (3-2). The win against FAU was the program’s first all-time win over a ranked opponent.
“This is huge for our program,” FGCU head coach Matt Botsford said. “We’ve made strides, and it’s clear our talent and competition levels have improved, and this win validates that. It’s a reward for all of our hard work. It’s exciting. Most of all, I’m happy for our two seniors who have played a big role in elevating this program to new heights.”
On day one, FGCU played Houston Baptist to start their season with a 3-2 win. The freshman duo of Kayla Whetstone and Snowy Burnam defeated freshman Brianne Miller and sophomore Danielle Wheeler 21-16, 21-18. Freshman Alayna Ryan and junior Kaitlan Krivdo would follow with a 21-14, 19-21, 15-10 win over freshmen Meagan Carter and Jordyn Miller. After sophomore Giovanna Borgiotti and senior Ashley Glickert fell 16-21, 17-21 to grad student Kayla Armer and sophomore Tori Hinojosa, the junior duo of Karissa Rhoades and Katherine Puisis defeated senior Bailey Banks and freshman Katya Silviera 18-21, 21-12, 17-15 to claim the win for FGCU. The duo of senior Mackenzie Allen and junior Amanda Carroll lost 11-21, 21-18, 14-16 to grad student Jessica Wooten and junior Aeriel Horton and freshman Cortney VanLiew and junior Kellie Pernula defeated freshman Mikayla Vivens and senior Kali Fluke 22-20, 21-14 in an extra match.
In match two against Webber International, the Eagles pulled off a 5-0 shutout over the Warriors. Whetstone and Burnam defeated the freshman duo of Molly Fusarelli and Kobi Allston 21-14, 21-4. Krivdo and Ryan would follow with a 21-15, 22-20 over junior Teryn Mills and freshman Jessica Terry before Rhoades and Puisis defeated sophomore Laura Embry and freshman Salla Rautiainen 21-12, 21-12 to give FGCU the win. Carroll and Allen defeated sophomore Carlee Baxter and freshman Emily Bowen 21-9, 21-15 and Borgiotti and Glickert defeated sophomores Amber Lake and Hannah Tannone by a score of 18-21, 21-9, 15-10.
On day two, FGCU would fall 0-5 to Georgia State. Burnam and Whetstone fell 24-26, 17-21 to grad student Amie Held and sophomore Kate Novack. Krivdo and Ryan would fall next to junior Ashley McGinn and freshman Eden Hawes 23-21, 15-21, 10-15 before Allen and Carroll fell 18-21, 23-25 to grad students Teegan Van Gunst and Tiffany Creamer. Borgiotti and Glickert would then lose 15-21, 18-21 to grad student Annika Van Gunst and junior Brooke Weiner before Rhoades and Puisis fell 20-22, 21-19, 15-17 to sophomores Olivia Stasevich and Georgia Johnson. VanLiew and Pernula would lose the extra match 22-20, 21-23, 11-15 to sophomore Maddie Gordon and freshman Ashley Bauchert.
Wrapping up day two, the Eagles managed to beat the Owls 3-2. The Owls were ranked #15 in the nation’s top 20. The freshman duo of Erica Brok and Mackenzie Morris defeated Krivdo and Ryan 13-21, 13-21. Burnam and Whetstone would tie the score defeating junior Amanda Silva and freshman Kaila Dorish 15-21, 21-18, 15-13. Borgiotti and Glickert would fall 13-21, 17-21 to seniors Jessalyn Kinlaw and Gabrielle Dischler. With the score 2-1 in favor of FAU, Rhoades and Puisis would tie the score with a 19-21, 21-17, 15-10 win over juniors Nicole Navarro and Nicole Grant. In the decider, Carroll and Allen defeated grad student Carly Scarborough and senior Brittany Pellitteri 21-19, 21-17. Rhoades and Pernula played an extra match, losing 14-21, 11-21 to junior Julia Lewkowicz and sophomore Sam Gott.
Up next, FGCU will face Eckerd College on Wednesday, Mar. 14 in St. Petersburg, Florida, at 3 P.M. before hosting the University of Tampa on Friday, Mar. 16 at 4 P.M. at Estero Community Park.

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