Arizona beach volleyball pulls out win in Louisiana after rough weekend in California
Arizona beach volleyball bounced back from their weekend of four straight losses in California to split the first day of the LSU Tournament in Baton Rouge, La. The ‘Cats crushed Texas A&M – Kingsville by a score of 4-1 but fell short to No. 10 LSU by a close score of 2-3.
Texas A&M - Kingsville
In the first half of the Louisiana doubleheader, the SandCats saw a dominant performance from the No. 1 pair, Olivia Macdonald and Natalie Anselmo, as they swept the Javelinas' Gabby Atchley and Whitney Walker (21-19 and 21-10). Macdonald and Anselmo lost three out of their four past matches in California, so their win against TAMUK’s Atchley and Walker brought them out of a crucial rut for the overall success of the team.
The second-ranked pair Olivia Hallaran and Kacey Nady defeated TAMUK’s Madison Brabham and Macy Berg in a two-set sweep (22-20 and 21-19).
Hallaran and Nady stepped up for the ‘Cats to help them dominate the overall match against the Javelinas. The pair lost crucial matches this past weekend in the Pac-12 South Invitational, but they were finally able to outperform their competition this morning.
The only pair to lose against the Javelinas in the Friday morning match was the No. 4 pair, Mia Mason and Makenna Martin. They lost against TAMUK’s Haley Hutchinson and Kyra Henderson in a neck-to-neck three set match (21-13, 26-28, 14-16).
The second half of the Friday doubleheader did not look as promising for Arizona as they dropped their second game of the day to nationally-ranked No. 10 LSU. The Tigers defeated the Wildcats by a score of 3-2, giving Macdonald and Anselmo only their fourth loss as a pair this season.
Tigers Claire Coppola and Kristen Nuss defeated Macdonald and Anselmo in a two-set sweep (21-14 and 21-15). The Tigers are ranked five spots ahead of the Wildcats in the national rankings (No. 10 vs No. 15).
The dominant freshman-sophomore tandem, Jonny Baham and Brooke Burling, defeated LSU’s Maddie Ligon and Riley Young in a down-to-the-wire game with the Wildcat duo after dropping the first set 21-19. Baham and Burling came back to win the second and third sets, 21-13 and 15-11, respectively.
The Wildcats go 1-1 on the first day of the LSU tournament and bring their overall record to 10-8 on the season.
Catch the ‘Cats back in action tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. MST against the Central Arkansas Bears and again at 10:30 a.m. MST against Texas A&M – Corpus Christi to finish off their Louisiana tournament before they head back home to compete in the Wildcat Spring Challenge next weekend.
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