MIAMI, Fla. – Despite two wins from the no. 1 pair, the FGCU sand volleyball team dropped matches to FIU and FAU on Tuesday afternoon before calling a third match against Webber due to darkness. The Eagles fall to 1-8 on the season with the losses in Miami.
The Green and Blue fell to host FIU 4-1 in the opening match of the day before falling to FAU by a close score of 3-2. The Eagles earned the win at no. 5 but dropped the no. 4 match against Webber before the match was called due to darkness. The remaining three matches were tied after two sets and were unable to finish.
The Eagles took on host FIU in the morning session. The no. 1 pair of Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers High School/Marshall) and junior Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind./Wapahani High School) was the only duo to pick up a win as FGCU fell, 4-1.
Holm and Masters earned a 21-17 win over Jessica Gehrke and Giovanna Pasos in the first set before falling 24-22 in a close second set. Holm and Masters constructed a solid offense in the decisive set to take a 15-10 win and earn the match victory.
The Eagles dropped four matches in just two sets to fall to the Panthers.
Holm and Masters again picked up a win at the no. 1 spot in the afternoon match against FAU. The duo handedly won set one, 21-7 before dropping set two, 22-20. In the deciding set, Holm and Masters edged their opponent, 18-16 to earn their second win of the day.
The no. 2 pair of Vanessa Benke (Toledo, Brazil/College of Central Florida) and senior Karina Mambuca (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast High School) also picked up a three-set win. The duo fell in set one, 21-18 but bounced back with a 21-11 win and a 15-8 win in the deciding set.
At no. 3 Olivia Mesner (Boca Raton, Fla./Spanish River High School) and freshman Caroline Jordan (Orlando, Fla./William R. Boone High School) battled the Owls but fell in another three-set bout. Mesner and Jordan fell in a tight first set, 21-19 before winning set two, 21-17. The pair battled through extra points but fell 21-19 in the third set. FAU also picked up wins at no. 4 and no. 5 to earn the match victory.
The Eagles faced Webber International in the final matchup of the day.
At no. 5, Marlene Moeller (Ludinghausen, Germany/Pascal Gymnasium) and Madi Wilcox (Mundelein, Ill./Mundelein High School) picked up a three-set win to start the match. The duo won set one, 21-15 before falling in set two, 21-17 to even the fight. Moeller and Wilcox responded with a 15-12 edge in the final set to earn a win for the Eagles.
Shelby Joslin (Alva, Fla./Evangelical Christian High School) and Elenora Kazarian (Tibilisi, Georgia/College of Central Florida) fell at the no. 4 position to even the match, while the three remaining bouts were called after two sets. The Eagles won the first set in the no. 1, no. 2 and no. 3 positions but found the scores even after two sets. Each matchup was slated to enter a third set before darkness limited competition.
The Eagles will continue play at FIU on Wednesday, Mar. 26 as they face Hawaii at 9 a.m. The team will return home this weekend to host North Florida and Mercer at Estero Community Park.