SIESTA KEY, Fla. – The LSU sand volleyball team’s (5-8) top-two duos both recorded a victory during the first day of the Fiesta on Siesta Key tournament Saturday at Siesta Key Public Beach.
“This event is a really fun competitive tournament,” associated head coach Russell Brock said. “We knew we were going to have to battle every single match, and both teams did a great job.”
Helen Boyle and Kaitlin Hatcher kicked off competition against No. 4 Florida State’s Sarah Wickstrom and Fatma Yildirim in the BBB pool and faced a 21-17, 21-17 loss.
Meghan Mannari and Katie Lindelow held a thrilling match against the Seminoles’ Stephanie Pelliterri and Kristina Pelliterri in the HHH pool. After falling 21-15 in the first set, LSU’s top-spot pair retaliated to take a 22-20 second set. With back-and-forth points in the third game, Mannari and Lindelow held a 14-13 lead before the court was tied 16-16, and Florida State’s pair ultimately walked away with a 21-19 win.
Despite holding another third-set lead early on, Mannari and Lindelow took another close loss against Tulane. The duo fell 21-16, 17-21, 15-13 to the Green Wave’s Tea Juric and Jackie Wegner.
Boyle and Hatcher tallied LSU’s first victory of the day as they took a quick 21-14, 21-17 victory against College of Charleston’s Melissa Morello and Cara Howley, a team they fell 2-0 against at the beginning of the season during the Gamecock Invitational.
Following victory, the Boyle and Hatcher duo took on No. 6 Florida International’s Marina Boulanger and Jessica Gehrke, and LSU’s No. 2 pair fell 21-14, 21-16.
Mannari and Lindelow wrapped up the day with their third three-set match, this time walking away with a 19-21, 21-10, 15-5 victory over Jacksonville’s Kendall Courtney and Niatha Cullen.
“Meghan and Katie had a couple more really tough losses in a stacked pool, and they finished well in their last match,” Brock said. “Tomorrow, both teams will play in the Silver bracket tournament, and we plan to finish strong. They have a great attitude and are ready to battle again.”
Competition in the Sand Varsity Schools Pair Competition will continue Sunday at 7:30 a.m. CT. LSU will compete in the Silver single-elimination bracket.
Playoff seeding will be determined by win/loss record, head-to-head and points percentage (points scored/points allowed). If still tied, a playoff match to seven points will commence.
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 Fiesta at Siesta Key
Sand Varsity Schools Pair Competition
Wickstrom/Yildirim (FSU) def. Hatcher/Boyle (LSU) 21-17, 21-17
Hatcher/Boyle (LSU) def. Morello/Howley (C of C) 21-14, 21-17
Boulanger/Gehrke (FIU) def. Hatcher/Boyle (LSU) 21-14, 21-16
Pelliterri/Pelliterri (FSU) def. Mannari/Lindelow (LSU) 21-15, 20-22, 21-19
Juric/Wegner (Tulane) def. Mannari/Lindelow (LSU) 21-16, 17-21, 15-13
Mannari/Lindelow (LSU) def. Courtney/Cullen (Jacksonville) 19-21, 21-10, 15-5
Sand Varsity Schools Pair Competition resumes – 7:30 a.m. CT