LakePoint, Ga. - The 2017 Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA) Beach Volleyball Championship began on Friday April 21st with pool play action as all 10 teams competed twice to open the championship. Florida State, LSU and South Carolina completed the day undefeated to move to the top of their respective pools.
Pool A Recap:
No. 1 seed Florida State won both of its opening matches of pool play by the score of 5-0. In the morning session, the Seminoles defeated UNCW winning all five matches in straight sets. CCSA All-Conference selections Leigh Andrew and Brooke Kuhlman won 21-17, 21-16, while Hailey Luke and Eva Torruella clinched the match at Court 5 with a 21-12, 21-10 victory. In the second game of the day for the Seminoles, they defeated Tulane 5-0. CCSA Freshman of the Year, Francesca Goncalves, and partner Katie Horton scored the first point with a 21-12, 21-16 win. Vanessa Freire and Victoria Paranagua clinched the dual with a 21-15, 21-17 victory.
The Gamecocks are tied atop Pool A with a 2-0 showing today after defeating FIU and UNCW on the opening day. After winning in straight sets on Courts 1 and 3, but falling on Courts 4 and 5, the match against FIU was decided on Court 2. Shannon Williams and Ali Denney won the opening set 21-17, but dropped the second set 16-21 as the match came down to the third set. The Gamecock pair prevailed with a 15-9 victory to clinch the dual. In the second game things were a little easier for South Carolina as it won 4-1 against UNCW. Two matches went to three sets, as the dual was clinched on Court 5 with Jade Vitt and Franky Harrison sealing the Carolina win 15-12 in the third set. Top pair Adrianna Culbert and Katie Smith also won in three sets.
The final match of Pool A saw FIU pick up a 4-1 win against Tulane. FIU got staight set wins on Courts 1, 4 and 5 with the pair of Lina Bernier and Katie Hogan impressing with a 21-12 and 21-11 victory. Bianca Bianchin and Fede Fresca clinched the dual with a 21-17, 21-16 win at Court 1 to close out the day.
Pool B Recap:
LSU took control of Pool B with two convincing victories against UAB and Florida Atlantic. In the first match, LSU defeated UAB 4-1 behind its top pair of Claire Coppola and Kristen Nuss going 21-14, 21-15. Cati Leak and Callan Molle got the first point with a 21-12, 21-14 victory at Court 4 for the Tigers. In the second match, Emmy Allen and Mddie Ligon clinched the dual with a straight set victory on Court 2. Olivia Powers and Katie Lindelow came back from a one set deficit to win in three sets, while Riley Young and Megan Davenport bounced back from a morning defeat to win their second match of the day.
There is a three-way tie for second in Pool B as FAU, Georgia State and UAB are all tied 1-1 after the opening day. UAB picked up a split on the day as the Blazers came back from a 5-0 loss to LSU to win 3-2 against College of Charleston. Haley Jared and Tressa Buckland clinched the dual with a 15-3 third set victory on Court 4 for the Blazers. Avei Longoleo and Kat Jovicic won in straight sets to get UAB on the board early in the dual.
Georgia State won its opener 4-1 against College of Charleston as CCSA Pair of the Year Delaney Rohan and Chelsea Ross cruised 21-8, 21-17 against the Cougars. Brooke Weiner and Natalie Wilson clinched the dual for the Panthers with a 21-18 and 21-4 victory on Court 3, while Jessica Fourspring and Haley Pa'akaula also won in straight sets.
The final match of the day went down the wire as FAU and Georgia State were tied 2-2 after four matches. It all came down to Court 4 as Nicole Navarro and Nicole Grant (FAU) battled Amie Held and Katie Novack (GSU). Held and Novack won the first set 21-15, but were unable to close it out in two as Navarro and Grant forced a third set with a 21-18 win in the second stanza. The third set looked to be going Georgia State's way as the Panthers led 9-6. FAU called timeout and went on a 5-0 run to make it 11-9. Both teams continued to battle and were tied 14-14. In the final stages, Navarro and Grant pulled it out with a 18-16 win in the fifth to clinch the dual 3-2.
Day 2 of the 2017 CCSA Beach Volleyball Championship begins Saturday, April 22nd at 9:00 AM, with two matches as pool play continues. Following the conclusion of pool play, the top two seeds in each pool will advance to the semifinals on Sunday.