LSU's Callan Molle
Madeline VeZain

Beach Volleyball Notches Two Wins In Home Opener

Fraser McAlpine
Fraser McAlpine
Communications Student Assistant

BATON ROUGE, La. – The No. 8 LSU beach volleyball team (4-5) notched two impressive wins against in-state rival Tulane and No. 10 South Carolina in the first slate of home matches in the Tiger Beach Challenge at Mango’s Beach Volleyball Club off of Sherwood Forest on Saturday night.

LSU swept Tulane by a score of 5-0, and knocked off the South Carolina at 4-1, wrapping up the day. The team will go for the sweep tomorrow against Florida International and North Florida at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., respectively.

“Today was a good day for us. We played two really good teams who were committed to coming out and competing at the highest level,” said head coach Russell Brock. “Both Tulane and South Carolina have been on a roll and came in with a ton of confidence, and we knew it would be a tough day.”

“We are very pleased with how the team responded and matched their energy.”

In the opening match against Tulane, Megan Davenport and Riley Young rallied after going down a set to give LSU a 1-0 advantage, taking their match in three sets on court four 20-22, 21-12, 15-11.

LSU jumped out to a 2-0 lead after Cati Leak and Callan Molle claimed a big three-set victory at the five by a score of 21-14, 17-21, 17-15.

Freshman duo Claire Coppola and Kristen Nuss tallied the third point of the match for the Lady Tigers in straights 21-12, 21-19 on court two. At the three, Katie Lindelow and Olivia Powers put LSU up four, collecting another two-set win at 21-18, 21-19 in a tightly-contested match.

Despite being down a set, Emmy Allen and Ashley Allmer battled back in three sets to win 15-21, 21-15, 15-9, giving No. 10 LSU the sweep over Tulane 5-0.

In the second match, Leak and Maddie Ligon struck first against No. 10 South Carolina in straights on court four 21-13, 21-13.

Davenport and Young followed suit at the five, displaying tremendous resiliency by posting another come-from-behind victory in three sets by a score of 17-21, 21-18, 15-10.

Lindelow and Powers dominated at the three again, giving LSU the 3-0 lead with a 21-9, 21-17 win in straight sets. At the one, Coppola and Nuss put up the fourth point of the match, finishing in a two-setter by a score of 21-17, 21-19 to continue their impressive performance this season. With the win, Nuss and Coppola improve to 7-2 after collecting their fourth win against a top-10 opponent.

The Gamecocks avoided the sweep on court two as Allen and Allmer fell in two sets, 16-21, 14-21, giving LSU the match, 4-1.

In the exhibition matches, Ligon and Lilly Kessler knocked off North Florida in straights 21-18, 21-14. Jeni Clark and Emma Hiller earned a victory over Houston Baptist in a two-setter by a scores of 21-17, 21-17. Kessler and Taylor Bradley notched another win at the six, finishing the match in two sets at 21-18, 21-13.

“The day was really a fantastic representation of a great team win. We had different players and pairs playing at different positions, and everyone responded wonderfully,” added Brock. “We are looking forward to another challenging day tomorrow against two strong teams.”

Tiger Beach Challenge Day 1 Results

LSU vs. Tulane (LSU wins 5-0)

1. (LSU) Emmy Allen/Ashley Allmer def. (Tulane) Maddie Mertz and Lan Nguyen (15-21, 21-15, 15-9)
2. (LSU) Kristen Nuss and Claire Coppola def. (Tulane) Tea Juric and Kaylie McHugh (21-12, 21-19)
3. (LSU) Katie Lindelow and Olivia Powers def. (Tulane) Bri Correa and Hannah Holmes (21-18, 21-19)
4. (LSU) Megan Davenport and Riley Young def. (Tulane) Tarin Mergener and Annie Shurtz (20-22, 21-12, 15-11)
5. (LSU) Callan Molle and Cati Leak def. (Tulane) Anna Chin and Sarah Strasner (21-14, 17-21, 17-15)
6. (LSU) Maddie Ligon and Lilly Kessler def. (Tulane) Madilyn McCarty and Sadie Thurston (21-18, 21-14)

LSU vs. South Carolina (LSU wins 4-1)

1. (LSU) Claire Coppola and Kristen Nuss def. (SC) Katie Smith and Katie Zimmerman (21-17, 21-19)
2. (SC) Ali Denny and Adrianna Culbert def. (LSU) Emmy Allen and Adrianna Culbert (21-16, 21-14)
3. (LSU) Katie Lindelow and Olivia Powers def. (SC) Julia Mannisto and Carly Schneider (21-9, 21-17)
4. (LSU) Cati Leak and Maddie Ligon def. (SC) Shannon Williams and Macie Tendrich (21-13, 21-13)
5. (LSU) Megan Davenport and Riley Young def. (SC) Jade Vitt and Franky Harrison (17-21, 21-18, 15-10)
6. (LSU) Taylor Bradley and Lilly Kessler def. (SC) Caroline Skaff and Hannah Edelman (21-18, 21-13)