MIAMI – Meghan Mannari and Katie Lindelow of the LSU sand volleyball team (5-8) advanced to the semifinal round of the Gold bracket Sunday at the FIU Surf & Turf tournament.
In a thrilling third set against North Florida’s Dagnia Medina and Kim Hildreth, Mannari and Lindelow took the lead initially, and North Florida fought back to tie up the match 13-13. After a timeout, the Ospreys came out strong, took the semifinal match 15-13 and advanced to the finals. The pair fell 25-23 in the first set to North Florida and retaliated to take the second 21-17.
Mannari and Lindelow faced FIU’s No. 2 pair of Marina Boulanger and Maryna Samoday in the quarterfinals, and LSU tallied a 16-21, 21-16, 15-11 victory.
“Meghan and Katie continue to play well,” associate head coach Russell Brock. “They could not be any closer to breaking through with a huge win. They were literally a couple points away from going undefeated on the weekend, and it would have been great to see them in the finals today. They would have had a great chance to win the whole tournament with the way they are playing right now. I’m so proud of their progress.”
The day’s competition was divided into three brackets, Gold for the top two seeds, Silver for the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds and Bronze for the remaining seeds.
Helen Boyle and Kaitlin Hatcher started off the day for LSU, taking on Florida Atlantic’s second-ranked pair of Natalie Fraley and Beth Shoaff 21-17, 21-12. After advancing to the quarterfinals, the duo faced Medina and Hildreth and took a 21-12, 21-15 loss.
In the Silver bracket, LSU’s fourth-ranked Briana Holman and Mimi Eugene faced Florida Atlantic’s No. 4 duo of Megan Knapp and Mandy McIntosh and recorded a quick 21-17, 21-16 win. In the quarterfinal round, the pair fell 21-12, 21-16 to North Florida’s No. 3 Tanner Garbutt and Cameron McGuire.
Third-seeded Malorie Pardo and Victoria Boraski began competition in the quarterfinals, and the duo fell 21-12, 21-12 to FIU’s fourth-ranked Ksenia Sukhareva and Camila Rosado.
The Bronze bracket saw competition from fifth-ranked Emma Hiller and Laura Whalen, and the pair took a 21-14, 21-8 loss to Florida International’s sixth-seeded Savannah Davis and Jessica Gehrke in the quarterfinal round.
LSU will take on its next competition April 12-13 at the Fiesta on Siesta Key in Siesta Key, Fla.
For the latest information on LSU sand volleyball, follow the Tigers on Twitter and Instagram @LSUsandVB and @RussLSUsand and at www.Facebook.com/LSUsandVB.
2014 FIU Surf & Turf Pairs Tournament
No. 2 Hatcher/Boyle (LSU) def. No. 2 Fraley/Shoaff (FAU) 21-17, 21-12
No. 1 Medina/Hildreth (UNF) def. No. 2 Boyle/Hatcher (LSU) 21-12, 21-15
No. 1 Mannari/Lindelow (LSU) def. No. 2 Boulanger/Samoday (FIU) 16-21, 21-16, 15-11
No. 1 Medina/Hildreth (UNF) def. No. 1 Mannari/Lindelow (LSU) 25-23, 17-21, 15-13
No. 4 Holman/Eugene (LSU) def. No. 4 Knapp/McIntosh (FAU) 21-17, 21-16
No. 3 Garbutt/McGuire (UNF) def. No. 4 Holman/Eugene (LSU) 21-12, 21-16
No. 4 Sukhareva/Rosado (FIU) def. No. 3 Pardo/Boraski (LSU) 21-12, 21-12
No. 6 Gehrke/Davis (FIU) def. No. 5 Hiller/Whalen (LSU) 21-14, 21-8