Gulf Shores, Ala. - Three Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA) teams competed on Day One of the 2017 NCAA Beach Volleyball Championships in Gulf Shores. Florida State and LSU survived the day as they split, while South Carolina's season came to an end with two losses on Friday.
Florida State Recap:
Fourth-seeded Florida State began the quest for its first national title on Friday by rebounding from an early loss to take down South Carolina, 3-0, on day one of the 2017 NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship. The Noles lost their first match of the day to fifth-seeded Hawaii, 3-1, before regrouping to defeat the eighth-seeded Gamecocks to move on to day two of the double-elimination national championship tournament.
Florida State will get back into action on Saturday at 1 p.m. CT against second-seeded UCLA. The winner of the Seminoles and the Bruins will go on to take on the winner of LSU and Hawaii. The loser of Florida State vs. UCLA will be eliminated.
"We came out this morning thinking Hawaii was just going to give it to us, but they were definitely ready to play," Florida State head coach Brooke Niles said. "They have great coaches and we needed to be a little bit tougher and more aggressive, which we were able to do against a good South Carolina team." Read more here.
In of the most tightly-contested matches of the season, the No. 7 seed LSU beach volleyball team earned the program's first-ever win at the NCAA Championships in comeback fashion, rallying down 2-1 to defeat No. 6 seed Long Beach State by a score of 3-2 on Friday at the Gulf Shores Public Beaches.
With the win, LSU joined Florida State as one of just two teams from the East region to win a match at the Championships in the two-year history of the tournament.
Overall, LSU split its matches on the day after falling to UCLA, 3-0, in the first match. The Tigers will return to action tomorrow at 2:10 p.m. CT to take on No. 5 seed Hawaii in a win or go home scenario. Tomorrow's match will also be televised on truTV.
"This is really special. Even in this format with everyone playing at the same time, we looked at the board and saw that we were down in some matches. I told Claire (Coppola) and (Kristen (Nuss) 'Hey, you guys are going to win and Katie (Lindelow) and Olivia (Powers) are going to come back and win,'" said head coach Russell Brock. "The ability for us to know where our strengths are in the matchups and for our pairs to be able to take advantage of it is just awesome." Read more here.
South Carolina Recap:
The South Carolina beach volleyball team made history Friday on the beach of Gulf Shores, taking part in its first NCAA Championship. The team fell to defending national champion Southern California in the morning session, 4-0, and were eliminated after dropping a close 3-0 decision to Florida State in the consolation bracket.
The Gamecocks finish the 2017 with a 23-11 record, setting a record for most victories in a single season. Read more here.