Two Florida State pairs and one each from Cal Poly and LSU survived Friday’s elimination matches at the USA Volleyball Collegiate Beach Nationals to reach the Saturday women’s medal rounds in the tournament at Hermosa Beach.
Florida State’s Vanessa Freire and Tory Paranagua won both of their matches, beating Cadie Bates and Katie Smith of South Carolina (21-15, 19-21, 15-10) and Molly Turner and Hannah Towne of Grand Canyon University (21-18, 21-16).
Hailey Luke and Katie Horton of FSU needed three sets in both of their victories, defeating Kaylie McHugh and Madeline Mertz of Tulane (21-9, 26-24, 15-6) and then eliminating Madalyn Roh and Brook Bauer of Pepperdine on a good-side trickler ace (21-18, 14-21, 19-17).
Top-seeded Torrey Van Winden and Emily Sonny of Cal Poly beat Nicole Lott and Maddy Kline of UNCW (21-10, 21-11) and a tough three-set win over Pepperdine’s Corinne Quiggle and Deahna Kraft (21-23, 21-17, 15-13). Van Winden scored three late-game jump serve aces to help her team recover from an 11-8 third-set deficit.
LSU’s Claire Coppola and Kristen Nuss recovered from Thursday’s pool-play defeat with three straight-set wins Friday. First they beat LSU teammates Emmy Allen and Megan Davenport (21-17, 21-9), then Mima Mirkovic and Alexia Inman of Cal Berkeley (21-17, 22-20), and FSU’s Macy Jerger and Sara Putt (12-13, 21-19).
Saturday’s semifinals pit FSU’s Freire and Paranagua against Luke and Horton at 8 a.m. Pacific, while at the same time Cal Poly’s Van Winden and Sonny face LSU’s Coppola and Nuss. The winners will play at 1 p.m. Pacific for the gold medal, while the losers play for bronze at 10 a.m.
In the men’s draw, Adam Wienckowski and Jon Justice of Florida State will face Brett Rosenmeier and Colton Cowell of Hawai’i in Saturday’s 11:20 a.m final.
UH’s Rosenmeier and Cowell defeated Quincy University’s Anthony Winter and Collin Merk 21-18, 21-16, while FSU’s Wienckowski and Justice upset top-seeded Robert Mullahey and Owen Yoshimoto of Pepperdine 21-15, 22-20.
Quincy’s Merk and Winter will take on Pepperdine’s Mullahey and Yoshimoto for the bronze medal at 9 a.m.