MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. – The second-ranked Florida State beach volleyball team (4-2) suffered its first two losses of the season on Sunday at the East Meets West Invitational, falling, 3-2, to both No. 3 Pepperdine (3-1) and No. 4 UCLA (6-2).“Our team played tough today and we lost some close matches to some good teams,” head coach Brooke Niles said.
“There are a lot of things that we need to work, especially on our side of the net.”
In the first match of the day, the Seminoles fell behind 2-0 early to the Waves. Senior Sierra Sanchez and redshirt junior Hailey Luke fell on court four in straight sets, 21-17, 21-14, while junior Vanessa Freire and freshman Francesca Goncalves dropped a hard-fought three-setter, 21-17, 14-21, 16-14.
However, the Noles battled back. Junior Victoria Paranagua and sophomore Macy Jerger captured the Seminoles’ first point on court three in a 21-16, 17-21, 15-10 three-set victory. Redshirt junior Katie Horton and freshman Molly McBain also won in three sets on court five (21-17, 20-22, 15-11) to tie the match up against Pepperdine at 2-2.
In the final match versus the Waves, graduate senior Leigh Andrew and sophomore Brooke Kuhlman lost on court one in a three-set thriller (28-26, 18-21, 15-11) to give the Garnet and Gold its first loss of the season.
In the second match, the Noles once again fell behind quickly as they lost in straight sets on both courts four and five. Horton and McBain fell, 21-17, 21-18, while redshirt freshman Eva Torruella and Nikki Esposito lost, 21-19, 21-13.
On court one, Andrew and Kuhlman fell, 18-21, 21-19, 15-10, to give the Bruins the 3-0 lead and the game. On courts two and three Freire and Goncalves and Paranagua and Jerger both won their matches in three-set victories, but it was too late as the Noles fell to the Bruins 3-2.
The Seminoles return to action on Thursday as they play No. 1 USC to begin the Outrigger Hawaii Invitational at Queens Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii. Florida State finished as runner-up to the Women of Troy in the first-ever NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship final in 2016.
No. 3 Pepperdine 3, No. 2 Florida State 2 – East Meets West Invitational – Manhattan Beach, CA
#1: Delaney Knudsen/Maddy Roh (PEP) def. Leigh Andrew/Brooke Kuhlman (FSU) – 28-26, 18-21, 15-11
#2: Corinne Quiggle/Brittany Howard (PEP) def. Vanessa Freire/Francesca Goncalves (FSU) – 21-17, 14-21, 16-14
#3: Macy Jerger/Victoria Paranagua (FSU) def. Skylar Caputo/Heidi Dyer (PEP) – 21-16, 17-21, 15-10
#4: Anika Wilson/Deahna Kraft (PEP) def. Sierra Sanchez/Hailey Luke (FSU) – 21-17, 21-14
#5: Katie Horton/Molly McBain (FSU) def. Gigi Hernandez/Katty Workman (PEP) – 21-17, 20-22, 15-11
Order of finish: 4, 2, 3, 5, 1*
No. 4 UCLA 3, No. 2 Florida State 2 – East Meets West Invitational – Manhattan Beach, CA
#1: Megan McNamara/Nicole McNamara (UCLA) def. Leigh Andrew/Brooke Kuhlman (FSU) – 18-21, 21-19, 15-10
#2: Vanessa Freire/Francesca Goncalves (FSU) def. Kamila Tan/Madi Yeomans (UCLA) – 20-22, 24-22, 15-11
#3: Macy Jerger/Victoria Paranagua (FSU) def. Elise Zappia/Torrey Van Winden (UCLA) – 21-18, 23-25, 15-13
#4: Jordan Anderson/Izzy Carey (UCLA) def. Katie Horton/Molly McBain (FSU) – 21-17, 21-18
#5: Lily Justine/Chanti Holroyd (UCLA) def. Eva Torruella/Nikki Esposito (FSU) – 21-18, 21-13
Order of finish: 4, 5, 1*, 3, 2
For more information on Florida State beach volleyball, check out: