Beach To Face No. 6 Seed South Carolina This Afternoon

by Grant Kauvar
Beach To Face No. 6 Seed South Carolina This Afternoon

GULF SHORES, Ala. – The No. 7-seed LSU beach volleyball team fell to No. 2 Pepperdine, 3-0, Friday morning in the Tigers’ NCAA Championship opener. The Tigers will take on No. 6 South Carolina at 2 p.m. CT in an elimination match on ESPNU.

The Tigers struggled to get going early on as LSU fell to 26-13 on the season.

“We knew this would be a tough matchup,” said LSU head coach Russell Brock. “We’ve obviously played them before and it seems like every time we get a little bit closer to beating them, but we just couldn’t get over the hump today. We played a little tight and started a little slow. In this format, you can’t let it drag out or it will end before you get a chance to get rolling.”

Pepperdine jumped out to an early lead, taking Court 4 in straight sets, 21-15 and 21-13, over LSU’s Emmy Allen and Megan Davenport. The Court 2 pair of Haleigh Nelson and Mandi Orellana for LSU fell in straight sets as well, 21-12 and 21-16, as Pepperdine jumped out to a 2-0 lead.

LSU would battle back though as Claire Coppola and Kristen Nuss forced a third set on Court 1 and Maddie Ligon and Riley Young forced a third set on Court 5. After falling in set one, 21-18, Coppola and Nuss took the second set, 21-18, on Court 1. Ligon and Riley also dropped their first set on Court 5, 21-19, but battled to force a third set, taking the second, 23-21. Neither Court 1 nor Court 5 would finish though.

After dropping the first set, 25-23, on Court 3, Olivia Powers and Hunter Domanski worked to try and force a third set. Powers and Domanski led the second set 18-17, but after a hard fought battle, Pepperdine took the set in extra points, 24-22, clinching the 3-0 victory for the Waves.

 “We’re confident about who we are,” said Brock. “We know that we will be ready for our next matchup and we will play better. Our goal is to win matches and then get to tomorrow.”

“Our journey is not over yet,” added graduate transfer Haleigh Nelson. “We have a lot more to play and there are a lot more special things that we can make happen out here.”

 #2 Pepperdine def. #7 LSU, 3-0

1. Claire Coppola/Kristen Nuss (LSU) vs. Deahna Kraft/Corinne Quiggle (PEPP) 18-21, 21-18, unfinished

2. Madalyn Roh/Brook Bauer (PEPP) def. Haleigh Nelson/Mandi Orellana (LSU) 21-12, 21-16

3. Gigi Hernandez/Heidi Dyer (PEPP) def. Olivia Powers/Hunter Domanski (LSU) 25-23, 24-22

4. Skylar Caputo/Alexis Filippone (PEPP) def. Megan Davenport/Emmy Allen (LSU) 21-15, 21-13

5. Riley Young/Maddie Ligon (LSU) vs. Maddie Dilfer/Nikki Lyons (PEPP) 19-21, 23-21, unfinished