Daniel Shirey

Beach Volleyball Falls To FIU In Semifinals At CCSA's

Fraser McAlpine
Fraser McAlpine
Communications Student Assistant

BATON ROUGE, La. – The No. 7-ranked LSU beach volleyball team won two early matches over Charleston, 5-0, and No. 9 Georgia State, 3-2, to advance to the semifinals of the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association Conference Championships, but came up just short of a spot in the finals after falling to Florida International by a score of 3-2 at the LakePoint Sports Complex in Emerson, Georgia.

With the loss, LSU saw the third-longest winning streak in LSU athletics history snapped at 24 matches. The Tigers will now wait for the beach committee to make its selections for the NCAA Championships in Gulf Shores, Alabama on May 5-7 with only eight teams eligible to receive a bid.

“Obviously, the day didn’t end how we hoped. That doesn’t diminish the great weekend and the amazing season we have had. We know our resume speaks for itself as the decisions are made by the group who will decide who gets to play for the championship in Gulf Shores,” said head coach Russell Brock.

In the opening match against College of Charleston, No. 1 duo Claire Coppola and Kristen Nuss kicked off the morning with a win in straights by a score of 21-11, 21-13. Megan Davenport and Riley Young gave the Tigers their second point of the match with another victory at the five in two sets at 21-15, 21-13.

On court three, Katie Lindelow and Olivia Powers clinched the dual for the Tigers, working a two-setter by a score of 21-16, 21-15. Cati Leak and Callan Molle gave LSU the 4-0 advantage at the four flight, sweeping their match by a score of 21-12, 21-19.

At the two, Emmy Allen and Maddie Ligon lifted LSU to the 5-0 sweep, collecting another straight-set win by a score of 21-15, 22-20, and picking up LSU’s 10th shutout in the last 14 matches, as well as its 23rd-consecutive victory.

In the second match against No. 9 Georgia State, LSU faced one of its toughest challenges all season in a tightly-contested nail-biter.

At the four, Leak and Molle put LSU on the board with a win in straights at 21-10, 23-21. No. 3 pair Lindelow and Powers also took their match in straights by a score of 21-11, 21-19, giving LSU the 2-0 advantage.

Georgia State cut the lead to 2-1 after Davenport and Young were defeated in straights at the five flight, 21-17, 21-12. The Panthers tied the match at two apiece on court one as Coppola and Nuss fell in three sets by a score of 21-16, 17-21, 8-15 to CCSA Pair of the Year Delaney Rohan and Chelsea Ross.

With the match tied at 2-2 and down a set on court two, Allen and Ligon took the second set, 22-20, to force a deciding third. Tied at 5-5, the tandem outscored Georgia State in the final 16 points of the third set, 10-6, to grab the dual and clinch the match for LSU by a score of 3-2, extending the win streak for the Tigers to 24.

Due to the potential for inclement weather on Sunday, the semifinals matches were pushed up to Saturday night as LSU took on FIU.

No. 2 pair Ligon and Allen opened the match by picking up their third win of the day with a straight-set victory by a score of 21-12, 21-13. At the three, Lindelow and Powers put LSU up 2-0, coming from behind to clinch a big three-setter at 20-22, 21-16, 15-7. FIU rallied to cut the deficit to 2-1 as No. 1 duo Coppola and Nuss were defeated in three sets 21-17, 17-21, 14-16.

The Panthers tied the match at 2-2 after Leak and Molle fell in three sets at the four flight by a score of 21-17, 15-21, 14-16.

With the score tied at 10-10 in the third set, Young and Davenport were defeated on court five, 11-15, as FIU clinched the match by a score of 3-2 to advance to the championship final.

Overall, two pairs for the Tigers went undefeated over the weekend. Ligon and Allen secured wins in all five matches and have won seven of their last eight.

No. 3 pair Lindelow and Powers were also impressive, tallying another five points at CCSA’s.With the wins, the duo improve their record to 24-3 on the year and are also riding a 14-match win streak. 

“There is no doubt that we are a much better team right now than before we came into this tournament. I could not be more excited to continue to prepare to finish our season well,” added Brock.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this group. We are more focused than we have been in a while and we’re excited to move forward.”

LSU 5, Charleston 0

1. Claire Coppola/Kristen Nuss (LSU) def. Maddie Hills/Riana Brennan (COFC) 21-11, 21-13
2. Emmy Allen/Maddie Ligon (LSU) def. McKala Rhodes/Krissy Mummy (COFC) 21-15, 22-20
3. Olivia Powers/Katie Lindelow (LSU) def. Lauren Hollman/Katja Ehlers (COFC) 21-16, 21-15
4. Cati Leak/Callan Molle (LSU) def. Devon Rachel/Ally Beckman (COFC) 21-12, 21-19
5. Riley Young/Megan Davenport (LSU) def. Lauren Freed/Taylor Foley (COFC) 21-15, 21-13

LSU 3, Georgia State 2
1. Delaney Rohan/Chelsea Ross (GSU) def. Claire Coppola/Kristen Nuss (LSU) 16-21, 21-17, 15-8
2. Emmy Allen/Maddie Ligon (LSU) def. Haley Pa'akaula/Jessica Fourspring (GSU) 17-21, 22-20, 15-11
3. Olivia Powers/Katie Lindelow (LSU) def. Natalie Wilson/Brooke Weiner (GSU) 21-11, 21-19
4. Cati Leak/Callan Molle (LSU) def. Kate Novack/Amie Held (GSU) 21-10, 23-21
5. Georgia Johnson/Olivia Stasevich (GSU) def. Riley Young/Megan Davenport (LSU) 21-17, 21-12

FIU 3, LSU 2
1. Fede Frasca/Bianca Bianchin (FIU) def. Kristen Nuss/Claire Coppola (LSU) 17-21, 21-17, 16-14
2. Maddie Ligon/Emmy Allen (LSU) def. Katie Friesen/Taija Thomas (FIU) 21-12, 21-13
3. Katie Lindelow/Olivia Powers (LSU) def. Helen Thelle/Naty Giron (FIU) 20-22, 21-16, 15-7
4. Lina Bernier/Katie Hogan (FIU) def. Callan Molle/Cati Leak (LSU) 17-21, 21-15, 16-14
5. Bela Sataric/Teffy Bethancourt (FIU) def. Riley Young/Megan Davenport (LSU) 12-21, 22-20, 15-11

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