JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The FGCU sand volleyball team fought hard to stay alive but eventually fell to No. 3 Jacksonville on the final day of play at the 2013 Atlantic Sun Conference Sand Volleyball Championships Sunday afternoon at the Dolphin Beach Volleyball Complex.
The Green and Blue finish the 2013 season with a 5-10 overall record.
FGCU took a quick 2-0 lead in the match after sophomores Jill Hopper (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown HS) and Gigi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS) claimed a win at No. 5 (21-17, 21-19) and sophomore Liga Strautniece (Riga, Latvia/Rigas Anglu Gimmazija) and junior Christine Pinder (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS/Houston/Central Florida CC) picked up a sweep (21-9, 21-14) in the No. 4 position.
The Dolphins responded when the No. 1 pair of Sammie Strausbaugh and Taylor Nyquist won in straight sets, 21-12 and 21-10, over the senior duo of Brooke Kohler (Jupiter, Fla./Jupiter HS/Clemson) and Brittany Muse (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto County HS).
Next up was the No. 3 pair of senior Lindsey Childs (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./South Plantation HS) and sophomore Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River HS). Childs and Mesner took the first set 21-11 and Gabriela Roman and Alyssa Robertson rallied from a 14-11 deficit in the second set to force a third set, which they won 15-11 to complete a 11-21, 21-19, 15-11 victory.
Junior Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS/Marshall) and sophomore Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind./Wapahani HS), playing in the No. 2 spot, would participate in the deciding match. The Dolphin duo of Kendall Courtney and Niatha Cullen took the first set 21-19, but Holm and Masters fought hard in the second game to pick up a 21-19 win to tie the match at 1-1. With the score tied at 10-10 in the deciding third set, JU scored five of the final six points in set three to complete a 2-1 (21-19, 19-21, 15-12) victory.
Holm and Masters, who earned 2013 All-Conference honors, earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team along with JU’s Strausbaugh and Nyquist Budinska, UNF’s Anna Budinska, Dagnija Medina, Anna Wagner and Emily Strack and Caroline Carlton and Emily Rochefort of Mercer.
Jacksonville 3, FGCU 2
No. 1 – Nyquist/Strausbaugh (JU) def. Kohler/Muse (FGCU) – 2-0 (21-12, 21-10)
No. 2 – Courtyney/Cullen (JU) def. Holm/Masters (FGCU) – 2-1 (21-19, 19-21, 15-12)
No. 3 – Roman/Robertson (JU) def. Mesner/Childs (FGCU) – 2-1 (11-21, 21-19, 15-11)
No. 4 – Pinder/Strautniece (FGCU) def. Pagan/Jacob (JU) – 2-0 (21-9, 21-14)
No. 5 –Hopper/Meyer (FGCU) def. Laskelle/Teplitz (JU) – 2-0 (21-17, 21-19)