Beach volleyball splits California road trip
Arizona beach volleyball hit the road for first time this season and faced Long Beach State and Irvine Valley College in Irvine, Calif. Arizona split the two-game road trip after a nip and tuck loss against Long Beach State, 2-3, and sweep against Irvine Valley College.
The ‘Cats performance was led by the No. 1 pair Natalie Anselmo and Olivia MacDonald. The sophomore-senior pair defeated LBSU’s Rachel Nieto and Nele Barber in a two-set sweep. The pair won 21-19 in the first set and 21-16 in the second set.
This season, sophomore Anselmo saw the spotlight as she moved up to the No. 1 ranked-pair after playing on the exhibition team during her freshman year. She has made a solid paring with senior MacDonald, contributing to the Wildcats’ overall 6-2 record on the season.
The Sand Cats got their second win of the match from the No. 2 ranked-pair Kacey Nady and Olivia Hallaran. The pair lost to LBSU’s Hailey Harward and Kristyna Adamcikova 19-21 in the first set but was able to bounce back to win sets two and three 21-16 and 22-20, respectively.
Senior Hailey Devlin and freshman Makenna Martin fought a close battle against LBSU’s Nicci Reinking and Zoi Konstantopoulou but dropped both sets 21-16 and 21-17.
The ‘Cats were not able to win the best three-out-of-five match against Long Beach State, giving them their second consecutive loss, after losing to LMU on Saturday by a score of 1-4, and second loss on the season in total.
However, the Sand Cats rebounded with a dominant performance against Irvine Valley College. They defeated IVC by a sweep of 5-0 thanks strong efforts by all five Wildcat pairs.
MacDonald and Anselmo, defeated IVC’s Taira Ka’awaloa and Megan Ramseyer by a score of 21-9 in the first set and 21-11 in the second set. The pair’s win against Irvine Valley made them undefeated on the team’s first road trip to Calif.
The ‘Cats No. 5 pair, Jonny Baham and Stephany Purdue, had an outstanding performance against IVC’s Diamond Brogan and Jade Parham. The freshman-senior combo won 21-12 in the first set and 21-8 in the second set.
The ‘Cats play again on March 17 against Texas Christian University in the Cal Poly Tri-Match in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
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