Eagles Complete Inaugural A–Sun Sand Volleyball Championship
Saturday, April 21, 2012 | by Mike Hill (@mike_hill84)
Photo Credit: ASunPhotos.com
Photo Credit: ASunPhotos.com

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The FGCU volleyball team defeated Mercer but fell to eventual champion UNF on day two of the inaugural Atlantic Sun Conference Sand Volleyball Championship.
FGCU (6-5) opened Saturday’s play with a 4-1 rout of Mercer. The Green and Blue’s No. 2-5 squads all picked up wins during the match.

The Eagles closed play on Saturday with a hard-fought 3-2 loss to the Ospreys, who went 4-0 during the tournament and won the A-Sun Championship at the Dolphin Beach Volleyball Complex.
FGCU jumped out to an early lead after freshman Jill Hopper (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown HS) and freshman Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind./Wapahani HS) earned the first point of the match with a 2-0 (21-19, 21-18) victory at the No. 4 spot. UNF quickly evened the match score when the No. 5 duo of Nicole Baran and Allison Shirley swept freshman Gigi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS) and junior Lindsey Childs (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./South Plantation HS) in straight sets (21-13, 21-16).

UNF grabbed its second point following a thrilling three-set contest at No. 3 won by Britt Claessens and Julie Trembley over redshirt junior Brooke Kohler (Jupiter, Fla./Jupiter HS/Clemson) and junior Brittany Muse (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto County HS) (21-16, 20-22, 17-15). The Eagles answered with a win at No. 1 as senior Holly Youngquist (Estero, Fla./Evangelical Christian HS) and sophomore Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS/Marshall) took down the Medina/Budinska pairing (21-19, 21-18).

North Florida's No. 2 tandem of Emily Strack and Carolyn Jenkins secured the win against sophomore Karina Mambuca (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast HS) and freshman Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River HS) in a three-set contest that required extra points. Mambuca/Mesner dropped set one 21-12 before winning set two 22-20. The Osprey No. 2 duo fought off a match point then scored two straight points for the 17-15 victory.

The pairings of Muse/Kohler and Masters/Hopper finished the weekend with a 3-1 mark, while Youngquist/Holm and Meyer/Childs went 2-2 and Mambuca/Mesner recorded a 1-3 record.

The A-Sun Championship concludes Sunday with a single elimination flighted pairs competition beginning at 8 a.m.

The championship game of each of the top four flights is scheduled to be televised live at no charge on ASun.TV, beginning at 11 a.m.

No. 1 - Jamie Duffy/Cassie Roy (Mercer) def. Kaitlin Holm/Holly Youngquist (FGCU) – 3-0 (21-18, 15-21, 15-12)
No. 2 - Karina Mambuca/Olivia Mesner (FGCU) def. Jenn Katona/Monica Sanchez (Mercer) – 2-0 (21-14, 21-11)
No. 3 - Brooke Kohler/Brittany Muse (FGCU) def. Emily Rochefort/Caroline Carlton (Mercer) – 2-0 (21-11, 21-13)
No. 4 - Whitney Masters/Jill Hopper (FGCU) def. Layna Braxton/Madison Petsos (Mercer) – 2-0 (21-12, 22-20)
No. 5 - Gigi Meyer/Lindsey Childs (FGCU) def. Lizzie Knapper/Erin Brett (Mercer) – 2-0 (21-18, 22-20)

North Florida 3, FGCU 2
No. 1 – K. Holm/H. Youngquist (FGCU) def. D. Medina/A. Budinska (UNF) – 2-0 (21-19, 21-18)
No. 2 – E. Strack/C. Jenkins (UNF) def. K. Mambuca/O. Mesner (FGCU) – 2-1 (21-12, 20-22, 17-15)
No. 3 – B. Claessens/J. Trembley (UNF) def. B. Kohler/B. Muse (FGCU) – 2-1 (21-16, 20-22, 17-15)
No. 4 – W. Masters/J. Hopper (FGCU) def. P. Pridgeon/C. McGuire (UNF) – 2-0 (21-15, 21-19)
No. 5 –N. Baran/A. Shirley (UNF) def. G. Meyer/L. Childs (FGCU) – 2-0 (21-13, 21-16)