MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Despite falling to UNF to open the FIU Surf and Turf Tournament, the FGCU sand volleyball team defeated FAU to snap a 13-game losing streak and move to 2-13 on the season. The Eagles fell to UNF 1-4 before defeating FAU 3-2 Friday afternoon on Miami’s South Beach.
The Eagles faced Atlantic Sun foe North Florida in the first match of the weekend in a nonconference bout. After being swept by the Ospreys in two matches last weekend, the Eagles picked up their first set win over UNF this season but ultimately fell 1-4.
The no. 3 pair of Karina Mambuca (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast High School) and Vanessa Benke (Toledo, Brazil/College of Central Florida) took its match to three sets to claim the win. The duo fell 21-16 in the first set before tying the match with a 21-15 win in set two. The teams fought for the advantage in the decisive set and tied at points seven and eight before the Eagles produced a rally to take the lead. FGCU scored seven-straight points to earn a 15-8 set win and earn a 2-1 victory in the match.
All other FGCU pairs fell to UNF by scores of 2-0.
In the match against FAU, the Eagles earned wins in the top three positions to seal a team victory.
Mambuca and Benke earned their second win of the day with a three-set battle against FAU. The pair won set one, 21-17 before falling in set two, 21-16. In the decisive set, the duo earned a 15-8 win to take the Eagles’ first win of the match.
The no. 2 pair of Elenora Kazarian (Tibilisi, Georgia/College of Central Florida) and Caroline Jordan (Orlando, Fla./William R. Boone High School) also fought to three sets against the Owls. Kazarian and Jordan fell in extra points to open the match, 24-22 before responding with a 21-17 win in set two. The duo took a 15-5 win in set three to put the Eagles ahead.
The no. 1 matchup of senior Kaitlin Holm (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS/Marshall) and junior Whitney Masters (Muncie, Ind./Wapahani High School) rounded out the day with convincing wins in two sets. The duo outscored FAU 21-12, 21-16 for the win.
The Green and Blue fell 2-0 at the no. 4 and no. 5 spots.
The Eagles will continue action at the FIU Surf and Turf Tournament on Saturday with two matches. FGCU will face LSU at 8:30 a.m. and will take on host FIU in a 2:30 p.m. bout.
North Florida 4, FGCU 1
1. Dagnija Medina/Kimberly Hildreth (UNF) def. Kaitlin Holm/Whitney Masters (FGCU) 21-12, 21-12
2. Cari Whitmire/Anna Budinska (UNF) def. Caroline Jordan/Elenora Kazarian (FGCU) 21-18, 21-17
3. Karina Mambuca/Vanessa Benke (FGCU) def. Tanner Garbutt/Cameron McGuire (UNF) 16-21, 21-15, 15-8
4. Britt Claessens/Julie Trembley (UNF) def. Marlene Moeller/Madi Wilcox (FGCU) 21-12, 21-13
5. Emily Strack/Allison Shirley (UNF) def. Shelby Joslin/Katie Gutmann (FGCU) 21-14, 21-10
FGCU 3, FAU 2
1. Whitney Masters/Kaitlin Holm (FGCU) def. Darija Sataric/Natalie Fraley (FAU) 21-12, 21-16
2. Caroline Jordan/Elenora Kazarian (FGCU) def. Lauren D'Amato/Beth Shoaff (FAU) 22-24, 21-17, 15-5
3. Karina Mambuca/Vanessa Benke (FGCU) def. Gabby Pyle/Andie Glainis (FAU) 21-17, 16-21, 15-8
4. Megan Knapp/Mandy McIntosh (FAU) def. Marlene Moeller/Madi Wilcox (FGCU) 21-7, 21-15
5. Kristi Tekavec/Lexi Rhein (FAU) def. Shelby Joslin/Katie Gutmann (FGCU) 21-13, 21-9