Florida State, USC into NCAA Beach winners’ bracket

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The favorites emerged Friday in the first day of the inaugural NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship. On a relatively cool, breezy, bright sunny day in Gulf Shores, Ala., the top-seeded Seminoles got past five-seeded Hawai’i as the No. 1 Florida State team of Jace Pardon and Julie Brown won in three to clinch the match 3-2. USC, in the final match of the day, made very short work of Pepperdine to set up Saturday’s match-up of the top-seeded Seminoles, who won their only meeting between the schools this season, and second-seeded USC. The winner goes straight into Sunday’s championship match, while the loser plays earlier Sunday against whichever team gets through the losers’ bracket. FSU coach Brooke Niles talked about that match after and also a day in which the Noles beat No. 8 Stetson to open the tournament. And Seminoles Nina Pelliterri, who played No. 2, and Annie Montgomery, who played No. 4, talked about the day as well. Earlier in the day Hawai’i sent UCLA to the losers’ bracket. USC opened by sending Georgia State to the losers’ in surgical fashion. Overall it was a really good day for the Women of Troy, as veteran coach Anna Collier offered after USC crushed Pepperdine: Pepperdine coach Nina Matthies was upbeat after her young Waves won one and lost one with a chance to climb back into it on Saturday. For all of Friday’s match scores and results, click here. Play begins at 1 p.m. Saturday. Click here for the NCAA.com bracket. Pepperdine plays UCLA, Arizona plays Hawai’i and the winners face off at 5 p.m. The winner of that match takes on the FSU-USC loser at 11:30 Sunday, while the winner advances straight into Sunday’s 2 p.m. final that will be televised live by TBS. Day 1 Results: Match 1: FSU 3, Stetson 0 Match 2:Hawaii 3, UCLA 0 Match 3: USC 3, Georgia State 0 Match 4: Pepperdine 3, Arizona 1 Match 5: UCLA 3, Stetson 2 Match 6: Arizona 3, Georgia State 2 Match 7: FSU 3, Hawaii 2 Match 8: USC 3, Pepperdine 0 Box Score Links: https://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/beach_volleyball/2016/match1.pdf https://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/beach_volleyball/2016/match2.pdf https://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/beach_volleyball/2016/match3.pdf https://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/beach_volleyball/2016/match4.pdf https://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/beach_volleyball/2016/match5.pdf https://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/beach_volleyball/2016/match6.pdf https://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/beach_volleyball/2016/match7.pdf https://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/beach_volleyball/2016/match8.pdf Saturday’s Match Order: 1 p.m. – Match 10 (Arizona vs. Hawaii) 2:10 p.m. – Match 9 (non-advancing team from match 8 vs. UCLA) 3 p.m. – Match 11 (Florida St. vs. winner match 8) 4 p.m. – Match 12 (winner match 9 vs. winner match 10)

Photo above of Julie Brown blocking Hawaii’s Ka’iwi Schuct by Eric Bouscher

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