Beach Volleyball Sweeps Tiger Beach Challenge
Communications Student Assistant
BATON ROUGE, La. – The No. 8 ranked LSU beach volleyball team (6-5) completed the sweep of the Tiger Beach Challenge, knocking off Florida International and North Florida by scores of 3-2 and 4-1 respectively at Mango’s Beach Volleyball Club off of Sherwood Forest.
LSU will return to action next weekend for the Horned Frog Challenge at the TCU Courts in Fort Worth, Texas.
“When you look across the board and you see so many pairings with such great records and playing so well, it becomes fun to walk out there and feel confident that you’re going to get wins across your lineup,” said head coach Russell Brock.
“We’ve been continually tweaking the lineup, and we’ll probably keep making tweaks this week to fine-tune. We knew coming in it was going to be a battle. Honestly, we haven’t had a great record at home and to come in and really make a stand by coming out on top in four matches at home felt really good.”
In the opening match against FIU, Cati Leak and Maddie Ligon won in two sets on court four 21-13, 21-13 for LSU’s first point. FIU tied the match after Megan Davenport and Riley Young fell in straights at the five by a score of 21-18, 21-13.
LSU jumped out to a 2-1 lead as No. 3 pair Katie Lindelow and Olivia Powers claimed a point in a two-setter 21-19, 21-8. FIU tied the match again at two apiece as Ashley Allmer and Emmy Allen fell in straights 21-13, 21-13.
Despite being down 5-10 in the third set on court one, freshmen duo Claire Coppola and Kristen Nuss rattled off a 10-2 run to take the set, lifting LSU to the 3-2 win over FIU in three sets 21-18, 21-23, 15-12.
“Those are the kind of moments within the program you’re excited to be around. To see two young freshmen playing together in that situation on a hot day against a good team and refusing to lose was really impressive,” said Brock.
In the second match against UNF, Leak and Ligon earned their second win of the day on court four in two sets by a score of 21-13, 21-16. Davenport and Young followed at the five, giving LSU the 2-0 advantage with a victory in straight sets 21-12, 21-19.
Lindelow and Powers notched the third point of the match for the Lady Tigers after dominating in a rapid, two-setter at the three 21-9, 21-9. At the two, Allmer and Allen fell in a tight two sets by a score of 19-21, 18-21.
Nuss and Coppola capped off the final match of the Challenge with a win in straights 21-19, 21-18 to give LSU the 4-1 win over UNF.
Overall, Leak and Ligon earned their sixth win as a pair this season and have knocked off three top-10 teams, including No. 2 Florida State, No. 6 Long Beach State and No. 10 South Carolina
Since partnering at the East vs. West tournament, Powers and Lindelow have been nearly unstoppable, collecting six-straight wins as a pair. The duo has compiled a 6-2 record together, defeating No. 6 LBSU, as well as No. 10 South Carolina.
Despite their youth, freshmen Nuss and Coppola have been outstanding since the season opener. The tandem is 9-2 on the season and currently riding a seven-match winning streak.
Along with Powers and Lindelow, Nuss and Coppola went undefeated over the weekend, collecting four straight victories at home.
Tiger Beach Challenge
Day 2 Results
LSU vs. FIU (LSU wins 3-2)
1. (LSU) Claire Coppola and Kristen Nuss def. (FIU) Bela Sataric and Estefanie Bethancourt (21-18, 21-23, 15-12)
2. (FIU) Katie Hogan and Helene Thelle def. (LSU) Ashley Allmer and Emmy Allen (21-13, 21-13)
3. (LSU) Katie Lindelow and Olivia Powers def. (FIU) Kari Peterson and Taija Thomas (21-19, 21-8)
4. (LSU) Cati Leak and Maddie Ligon def. (FIU) Natalia Giron and Lina Bernier (21-13, 21-13)
5. (FIU) Margherita Bianchin and Federica Frasca def. (LSU) Riley Young and Megan Davenport (21-18, 21-13)
6. (LSU) Lilly Kessler and Taylor Bradley def. (FIU) Mo Crawley and Mackenzie Walker (22-20, 21-16)
LSU vs. UNF (LSU wins 4-1)
1. (LSU) Claire Coppola and Kristen Nuss def. (UNF) Courtney Miller and Katarina Raicevic (21-18, 21-18)
2. (UNF) Kimberly Ferguson and Carina Hoff def. (LSU) Ashley Allmer and Emmy Allen (21-19, 21-18)
3. (LSU) Katie Lindelow and Olivia Powers def. (UNF) Taryn Griffey and Chaney Howard (21-9, 21-9)
4. (LSU) Cati Leak and Maddie Ligon def. (UNF) Brittney Pase and Gabby O’Connell (21-13, 21-16)
5. (LSU) Riley Young and Megan Davenport def. (UNF) Shannon McPherson and Nicole DeBolt (21-12, 21-19)