TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Meghan Mannari and Katie Lindelow of the LSU sand volleyball team advanced to the semifinal round of the Gold bracket Sunday at a pairs tournament hosted by Florida State.
“Meghan and Katie had to play at such a high level to get to the semifinals,” associate head coach Russell Brock said. “They were definitely playing a different, more advanced style of sand volleyball by their last match. Overall, it was an invaluable competitive experience for our teams.”
The day’s competition was divided into two brackets, Gold for the top two seeds and Silver for the remaining seeds. The first two rounds of the Gold bracket and first round of the Silver bracket consisted of one set played to 25 points, and the remaining rounds were best two out of three games.
Top-seeded Mannari and Lindelow started off the day taking on Jacksonville’s second-seeded Kendall Courtney and Niatha Cullen, and LSU snatched the win 25-13. In the quarterfinal round, the pair fell to the Dolphins’ top pair of Taylor Nyquiest and Sammie Strausbaugh 25-17.
The duo proceeded to the Gold consolation bracket, where they overcame South Carolina’s top-seeded Paige Wheeler and Megan Kent in a thrilling 25-23 first-set victory and 21-13 second set to advance LSU’s No. 1 pair of Mannari and Lindelow out of consolation and into the semifinals.
During the semifinal round, LSU’s top-spot duo faced Florida State’s No. 1 pair of Jace Pardon and Aurora Davis. LSU’s run in the tournament ended as Mannari and Lindelow fell 21-18, 21-12.
The No. 2 team of Kaitlin Hatcher and Helen Boyle fell 25-22 to Jacksonville’s top pair of Nyquiest and Strausbaugh in the first round of the Gold bracket. The tandem moved into the consolation bracket where they managed a close 21-18, 21-19 victory against the Dolphins’ second-seeded pair of Courtney and Cullen before falling 21-12, 21-17 in the consolation quarterfinals to the Seminoles’ second-ranked team of Stephanie Pellitteri and Kristina Pellitteri.
LSU’s No. 4 duo of Malorie Pardo and Mimi Eugene tallied a 25-17 win over the Gamecocks’ fifth-ranked pair of Erin Neuenfeldt and Koko Atoa-Williams in the first round of the Silver bracket. After advancing to the quarterfinal round, they were unable to hold on and fell 21-14, 21-13 to Jacksonville’s No. 3 duo of Mayara Prestes and Gabriella Roman.
The fifth-seeded pair of Briana Holman and Emma Hiller rallied against South Carolina’s fourth-ranked team of Chynna Ratner and Litsa Darby in the first round and barely came up short 29-27. In the consolation round, the pair recorded LSU’s only third-set competition of the day with a 21-14, 10-21, 15-10 loss to the Dolphins’ No. 5 tandem of Emily Laskelle and Alyssa Robertson.
Starting action in the Silver bracket’s quarterfinals, the No. 3 duo of Victoria Boraski and Cati Leak had a short run in the tournament, falling 21-11, 21-15 to Jacksonville’s fifth-seeded pair of Fatma Yildirim and Sarah Wickstrom.
“Today was a great experience,” Brock said. “Several of our teams really played well. To be able to play multiple matches against similar opponents really tested our ability to adapt, execute and stay focused. We had a ton of success and needed clutch contributions from each of our teams at different times to finish as well as we did.”
For the latest information on LSU sand volleyball, follow the Lady Tigers on Twitter and Instagram @LSUsandVB and @RussLSUsand and at www.Facebook.com/LSUsandVB.
Florida State Pairs Tournament
Round 1 (1 Game to 25)
Taylor Nyquiest/Sammie Strausbaugh (JU1) def. Kaitlin Hatcher/Helen Boyle (LSU2) 25-22
Meghan Mannari/Katie Lindelow (LSU1) def. Kendall Courtney/Niatha Cullen (JU 2) 25-13
Consolation (Best 2 of 3)
Kaitlin Hatcher/Helen Boyle (LSU2) def. Kendall Courtney/Niatha Cullen (JU 2) 21-18, 21-19
Quarterfinals (1 Game to 25)
Taylor Nyquiest/Sammie Strausbaugh (JU1) def. Meghan Mannari/Katie Lindelow (LSU1) 25-17
Consolation Quarterfinals (Best 2 of 3)
Meghan Mannari/Katie Lindelow (LSU1) def. Paige Wheeler/Megan Kent (SC1) 25-23, 21-13
Stephanie Pellitteri/Kristina Pellitteri (FSU2) def. Kaitlin Hatcher/Helen Boyle (LSU2) 21-12, 21-17
Semifinals (Best 2 of 3)
Jace Pardon/Aurora Davis (FSU1) def. Meghan Mannari/Katie Lindelow (LSU1) 21-18, 21-12
Round 1 (1 Game to 25)
Chynna Ratner/Litsa Darby (SC 4) def. Emma Hiller/Briana Holman (LSU5) 29-27
Malorie Pardo/Mimi Eugene (LSU4) def. Erin Neuenfeldt/Koko Atoa-Williams (SC5) 25-17
Consolation (Best 2 of 3)
Emily Laskelle/Alyssa Robertson (JU5) def. Emma Hiller/Briana Holman (LSU5) 21-14, 10-21, 15-10
Quarterfinals (Best 2 of 3)
Fatma Yildirim/Sarah Wickstrom (FSU5) def. Victoria Boraski/Cati Leak (LSU3) 21-11, 21-15
Mayara Prestes/Gabriella Roman (JU3) def. Malorie Pardo/Mimi Eugene (LSU4) 21-14, 21-13