JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The FGCU sand volleyball team split a pair of matches on Saturday afternoon (April 20), defeating No. 5 seed Mercer (3-2) and falling to No. 1 seed UNF (4-1) on the opening day of play at the 2013 Atlantic Sun Conference Sand Volleyball Championship at JU's Dolphin Beach Volleyball Complex.
The Green and Blue are now 5-9 on the season. The Eagles were one of two teams (Jacksonville) that went 1-1 on the first day of competition. UNF and Stetson went undefeated (1-0) and Mercer went 0-2.
In the opening match, FGCU won 3-2 over Mercer behind three set wins at the No. 1 and No. 5 positions. The Eagles’ No. 2 duo of junior Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS/Marshall) and sophomore Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind./Wapahani HS) won in straight sets, 23-21, 21-17, to help FGCU advance to a quarterfinal contest against No. 1 UNF. Seniors Brooke Kohler (Jupiter, Fla./Jupiter HS/Clemson) and Brittany Muse (Arcadia, Fla./DeSoto County HS) won at No. 1 (10-21, 22-20, 15-8), while sophomores Jill Hopper (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown HS) and Gigi Meyer (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS) claimed the win at No. 5 (14-21, 21-7, 15-10).
In FGCU’s second match of the day UNF raced out to an early lead grabbing 2-0 victories at both the No. 4 and 5 pairs spots. The Ospreys’ No. 1 duo secured the victory UNF with a 2-0 (21-10, 21-15) sweep at the top-flight position. The match saw a pair of contests reach a deciding third game as senior Lindsey Childs (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./South Plantation HS) and sophomore Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River HS) saw UNF's No. 3 pairing of Emily Strack and Anna Wagner rally for a 2-1 (19-21, 21-16, 15-8) victory and the No. 2 tandem of Masters and Holm edged Cari Whitmire and Carolyn Jenkins 2-1 (21-19, 16-21, 15-8).
The Ospreys and Stetson Hatters will square off in the winner’s bracket semifinal at 9 a.m. Sunday morning, followed by Jacksonville and FGCU in an elimination game at 11 a.m. The JU-FGCU winner then meets the loser between UNF-Stetson at 1 p.m. to advance to the championship match at 3 p.m. against the winner between the Ospreys and Hatters.