GULF SHORES, Ala. – LSU’s run at the NCAA Beach Championship came to an end Saturday afternoon in a 3-1 loss to Florida State.
The Tigers finished with an overall record of 32-12 which was good enough for a school-record number of wins. With 27 wins during the regular season, they also celebrated another school milestone.
LSU also had five pairs earn AVCA Top-0Flight honors, tied for the most pairs by a team in a single season. Melia Lindner became LSU’s first beach Elite 90 Award winner.
“All we focused on at the beginning of the year was just playing the right way and being the team we are supposed to be and letting everything take care of itself,” LSU beach volleyball coach Russell Brock said. “It was kind of an experiment and I’m so proud that they bought into it and then to finish the season the way we did and with all of the awards and recognition that we got, it shows who they are and who we are supposed to be.”
LSU fought until the final point against Florida State which it lost to for the fifth time this season.
Bella Bauman and Parker Bracken fell in straight sets on Court 1, 21-17 and 21-10, as did Grace Seits and Ellie Shank on Court 4, 21-16 and 21-12 for a 2-0 deficit.
LSU’s Reilly Allred and Holly Carlton fell in the first set on Court 3, 21-17, and they trailed in the second set, 19-15. The duo rattled off four points in a row and ultimately took the second set, 24-22 and carried that momentum to a 15-10 third set win. They finished the season with a 15-8 record in matches that were decided by three sets.
On Court 2, Kylie Deberg and Kelli Greene-Agnew led in the first set 13-8 but couldn’t hang on as FSU took the opening set, 25-27. The LSU duo bounced back to take the second, 21-15 butnever got momentum rolling again and fell in the third set, 15-10.
Sierra Caffo and Ashlyn Rasnick-Pope’s match on Court 5 went unfinished. They won the first set, 21-16, before falling in the second, 26-24. They trailed 14-10 when FSU clinched the match on Court 2.
“All we’ve asked them to do is fight as hard as they can and don’t worry about what the score is or what people say about us or how daunting the challenge may be; just keep fighting,” Brock said. “This weekend that’s all they did, they just kept fighting. It paid off in the match before and today we just ran out of time. We didn’t run out of energy or ability; we just ran out of time. Super proud of this team.”
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