HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. – Two of FSU’s pairs competing at the USA Volleyball Collegiate Beach Championship were represented in the championship matches on Saturday (May 12). Redshirt seniors Katie Horton and Hailey Luke finished in second place in the women’s bracket, while Jon Justice and Adam Weinckowski won the men’s bracket while representing the Seminoles.
Horton and Luke went undefeated through pool play and the playoff bracket before advancing to the championship match. As the third-seeded team in the main bracket, the pair earned two straight-set wins to reach the semifinal, where they squared off against teammates Tory Paranagua and Vanessa Freire.
As the second-seeded pair, Paranagua/Freire rolled through South Carolina’s Bates/Smith and GCU’s Turner/Towne to advance to the semifinal, where they fell to Horton/Luke in straight sets. The pair went on to the third-place bracket, falling to No. 1 Van Winden/Sonny to take fourth place in the women’s playoff bracket.
Macy Jerger and Sara Putt earned two straight-set wins in the playoff bracket to advance to the quarterfinals, but fell to LSU’s Coppola/Nuss to send the Tigers to the semifinals. Coppola and Nuss went on to defeat the top-seeded Cal Poly pair to reach the finals.
While the Tigers stayed ahead of the Seminoles through the entire first set and eventually took a 21-9 victory, Horton/Luke fought back to win the second set 21-17 and force a third set. Coppola/Nuss took the lead in the tiebreaker and won 15-8 to beat Horton/Luke.
On the men’s side, Justice and Weinckowski entered the men’s playoff bracket as the No. 4 seed. The rolled through fifth-seeded Freidman/Chakravorti (UC Irvine) and later took down top-seeded Mullahey/Yoshimoto (Pepperdine) in the semifinal.
The pair earned their second upset win in the bracket when they took out Hawaii’s No. 2 Rosenmeier/Cowell, winning the men’s competition and earning a spot to represent the US at the 2018 FISU World University Championship, held this July in Munich, Germany.
The Bridgestone USA Volleyball Collegiate Beach Championships is part of the 2018 Team USA Summer Champions Series, presented by Xfinity. The Champions Series showcases numerous Olympic sports throughout the season, highlighting the year-round quest of Team USA athletes to compete at the Olympic Games.
Follow the team on Facebook (Florida State Beach Volleyball), Twitter (FSU_BeachVB) and Instagram (FSUbeachvolleyball).