Sand Volleyball Drops Close Match at Tulane, 3-2

by Caroline Downer
Sand Volleyball Drops Close Match at Tulane, 3-2

KENNER, La. – The LSU sand volleyball team (2-4) took on Tulane (3-3) Wednesday at Coconut Beach and faced a 3-2 loss to the Green Wave.

“We know for sure that we get to play Tulane again, and we know for sure that we get to play ULM again,” associate head coach Russell Brock said. “Those for sure will be big tests for us to see if we continue to get better throughout our season, which is our goal. We have to gain experience, we have to gain technical ability and we have to get better as teams just as a cohesion playing with each other. That’s going to be a great test.”

Competition on courts four and five started off the day, and the duo of Emma Hiller and Briana Holman debuted in the fifth seed. The pair maintained a tight first set and recorded a 21-18 score over Tulane’s Miah Diirell and Sarah Strasner. Tulane pulled away quickly in the second set and kept the momentum going, taking set two 21-18. With a commanding third-set lead, Hiller and Holman were unable to overcome Tulane and fell 15-7.

Malorie Pardo and Laura Whalen served as the fourth seed. The duo fell 21-18 in the first set and followed with a 21-16 second-set loss to the Green Wave’s Courtney Liddle and Olivia Utt, giving Tulane the first point in the day’s competition.

LSU notched its first point of the day on court two, as Helen Boyle and Kaitlin Hatcher commanded the court into a 21-19 first-set win and a 21-18 second set against Annie Shurtz and Grace Weaver to make the score 2-1.

Shortly after, Tulane came back in the top spot to tally an overall match victory as the Green Wave’s Tea Junic and Jackie Wegner overcame Katie Lindelow and Meghan Mannari with a 21-15, 21-18 loss.

Despite this, Victoria Boraksi and Cati Leak continued powering through their remaining sets against Hannah Holmes and Anna Wruck on court three. Tallying a third-set win 21-16, 18-21, 15-8 awarded LSU its second and final point of the day against the Green Wave. The duo is now on a five-match winning streak with only one loss, against UL-Monroe in the inaugural opener.

“The (No.1 seeds) had a really tough matchup,” Brock said. “When I was talking to Meghan (Mannari), she said she was disappointed, and I asked if she learned anything. She said absolutely, because we get to play them again. Thankfully, that’s what kind of keeps us going. We have lots of opportunities to play people again when we’re going to be better.”

LSU will face its next matchup with Tulane at Mango’s Beach Volleyball at 4 p.m. on April 19, as the Tigers host the Battle on the Bayou.

The Tigers will face their next competition this weekend as the team travels to Tallahassee, Fla., to take on Jacksonville (3-10) at 10 a.m., Florida State (7-1) at 11 a.m. and South Carolina (4-6) at 3 p.m. CT on Saturday. The Tigers will then compete in a pairs tournament Sunday based off of their performances the day prior.

Jacksonville is in its program’s third season, and the Tigers took on South Carolina during the Gamecock Invitational and notched a 4-1 victory at the Gamecocks’ home site.

Florida State is currently ranked fourth nationally by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), and the Seminoles were the No. 3 seed in the 2013 AVCA National Championships.

For the latest information on LSU sand volleyball, follow the Lady Tigers on Twitter and Instagram @LSUsandVB and @RussLSUsand and at

LSU vs. Tulane
March 26, 2014
1. Juric/Wegner (Tulane) def. Lindelow/Mannari (LSU) 21-15, 21-18
2. Boyle/Hatcher (LSU) def. Shurtz/Weaver (Tulane) 21-19, 21-18
3. Boraski/Leak (LSU) def. Holmes/Wruck (Tulane) 21-16, 18-21, 15-8
4. Liddle/Utt (Tulane) def. Pardo/Whalen (LSU) 21-18, 21-16
5. Diirell/Strasner (Tulane) def. Hiller/Holman (LSU) 19-21, 21-18, 15-7