HILTON HEAD, S.C. – The third-ranked Florida State beach volleyball team (9-0) went 2-0 on day one of the Hilton Head Island Invitational. FSU defeated two ranked teams, including a 4-1 win over No. 10 Grand Canyon (4-1) and a 5-0 win over No 17 South Carolina (1-4).
No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 10 Grand Canyon
Florida State started the weekend off with a hard-fought 4-1 win over No. 10 Grand Canyon. The Noles took points from pairs one through four.
The match started with pairs four, five and six on court first. The Noles jumped out to early leads from pairs four and six in the first sets. Those then turned into the first points for the Noles. Sophomore Lexi McKeown and junior Ashley Robert grabbed the exhibition court with a score of 21-13, 23-21. Senior Payton Caffrey and freshman Liz Waters-Leiga were the first pair to get the Noles on the board. They dominated Natalie Honzovicova and Katie Hess of Grand Canyon, winning 21-9, 21-11.
Grand Canyon bounced back taking the point from the fives pair of Jenna Johnson and Keara Rutz 21-18, 21-18.
The second wave of matches began as all three courts were highly contested. Senior Molly McBain and junior Alaina Chacon got the lead back for the Noles as they took court one in straight sets, 21-19, 21-17.
The rest of the match would not go without some drama as juniors Madison Fitzpatrick and Alice Zeimann would go on to three sets. They would lose the first set 21-18 before coming back to take the second set in extra points 22-20. The third set would be more of the same as FSU and GCU exchanged points until Fitzpatrick and Zeimann would clinch the match for the Noles with a 16-14 third set win.
Court three was a lot of the same. Sophomore Kate Privett and freshman Maddie Anderson got out to an early lead with a 21-13 first set win. They would not be as fortunate in the second set, losing 26-24. They were then forced into extra points in the final set as well, before going on to win 17-15.
No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 17 South Carolina
Florida State capped off day one of the Hilton Head Island Invitational with their sixth sweep of the season and second over South Carolina.
The Seminoles got their first point of the match on court four as Caffrey and Waters-Leiga remained undefeated on the season, earning a 21-15, 21-11 win on court four. The newly formed pair of Ashley Robert and Morgan Chacon grabbed the second point for the Noles with a three-set win on court five. The duo lost the first set 21-17 before taking the final two sets 21-14, 15-13.
Anderson and Privett would go on to be the first team to finish in the second wave of matches and clinch the match for Florida State. They took the first set 21-12 and the second set 21-19 to give FSU a 3-0 lead. Chacon and McBain earned the Seminoles’ third straight-set win of the match with a 21-16, 21-15 win on court one.
Zeimann and Fitzpatrick capped off play for the day on court two. They took the first set 21-16 and battled to a 22-20 second set victory.
The Noles are back in action tomorrow with two matches to finish the Hilton Head Island Invitational. FSU begins the day at 10:30 am against College of Charleston before wrapping up competition against No. 4 USC at 2:30 pm.
All live stats and results for Florida State’s matches of the Hilton Head Island Invitational are found on the beach volleyball schedule page on Seminoles.com: https://seminoles.com/sports/beach-volleyball/schedule/season/2019-20/
Address to the courts: Coligny Beach, 1 South Forest Beach Drive, Hilton Head, S.C. 29928
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#3 Florida State 4, #10 Grand Canyon 1
Ext. Lexi McKeown/Ashley Robert (FS) def. Alina Randall/Micaela Mirabel (GCU) 21-13, 23-21
Florida State 8-0; National ranking #3
Grand Canyon 4-1; National ranking #10
Order of finish: Doubles (4,5,1,2,3);
#3 Florida State 5, #17 South Carolina 0
Ext. Keara Rutz/Jenna Johnson (FS) def. Sarah Nacouzi/Kaeli Crews (SC) 21-13, 21-13
Florida State 9-0; National ranking #3
South Carolina 1-4; National ranking #17
Order of finish: Doubles (4,5,3,1,2);