No. 6 Beach Defeats No. 3 Pepperdine

by Grant Kauvar
No. 6 Beach Defeats No. 3 Pepperdine

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. – The No. 6 LSU Beach Volleyball team opened up play at the East vs. West Challenge on Saturday, falling to No. 1 UCLA and defeating No. 3 Pepperdine.


“Today was a good day,” said coach Russell Brock. “We played well enough to come away with a great win and really played well in our first match too. The main take away from today and a big improvement from last week was our ability to just play hard with passion. We were very proud of our ability to make that change and it showed in the results of our play.”


LSU is now 7-3 on the season.


To open the day, LSU faced UCLA, the same team that knocked the Tigers out of NCAA Championship contention last season. Against the top-ranked and undefeated Bruins the Tigers struggled, dropping four of five courts. Freshman Allison Coens and sophomore Hunter Domanski fell on Court 5 in two sets, 21-18 and 22-20. Similarly, graduate transfer Taryn Kloth and Junior Maddie Ligon went down in straight on Court 4, 21-18 and 21-17.


The Court 3 pair for the Tigers composed of senior Toni Rodriguez and freshman Kelli Agnew were the only LSU to gather a win. Rodrguez and Agnew took Court 3 in back-to-back sets, 21-18 and 21-18.


Junior Olivia Powers and sophomore Ashlyn Rasnick-Pope dropped consecutive sets on Court 2, 21-18, and 21-15. The junior pair of Claire Coppola and Kristen Nuss fell on Court 1, 21-16 and 21-19, for the first time this year after they began the season 8-0.


In the final match of the day at Manhattan Beach the LSU and Pepperdine squared off. Kloth and Ligon got the Tigers rolling on Court 4 with a two-set victory, 21-10 and 21-12. Coppola and Nuss improved to 9-1 on the year with a 21-18 and 23-21 sweep on the top court.


Pepperdine picked up its first court on Court 3 when Rodriguez and Agnew fell, 20-22 and 14-21.


Coens and Domanski clinched the match for the Tigers over the No. 3 team in the nation when thee LSU duo took Court 5 in three sets. Coens and Domanski took set one 21-15, but dropped the second set 21-17. In the deciding set the LSU duo won, 15-13. Powers and Rasnick-Pope fell in three sets on Court 2. They dropped the first set, 21-18 before taking the second set, 21-19. In the final set the LSU duo fell 15-10, but the Tigers prevailed, 3-2 over No. 3 Pepperdine


This is the first time in program history that LSU has defeated Pepperdine.


“We know that from week to week we have this ability to continue to improve,” said Brock. “We made progress this week, but still have a long way to go and have a big task ahead of us tomorrow. We had impressive play and contributions from lots of pairs in the matches today. I’m excited to see how we respond.”


The Tigers will face No. 2 USC Sunday at noon CT before finishing the weekend at 3 p.m. against No. 5 Hawaii.


No. 1 UCLA def. No. 6 LSU, 4-1

1. Megan McNamara/Nicole McNamara (UCLA) def. Claire Coppola/Kristen Nuss (LSU), 21-16, 21-19

2. Sarah Sponcil/Lily Justine (UCLA) def. Olivia Powers/Ashlyn Rasnick-Pope (LSU), 21-18, 21-15

3. Toni Rodriguez/Kelli Agnew (LSU) def. Lea Monkhouse/Savvy Simo (UCLA), 21-18, 21-18

4. Lindsey Sparks/Abby Van Winkle (UCLA) def. Taryn Kloth/Maddie Ligon (LSU), 21-18, 21-17

5. Izzy Carey/Megan Muret (UCLA) def. Allison Coens/Hunter Domanski (LSU), 21-18, 22-20


No. 6 LSU def. No. 3 Pepperdine, 3-2

1. Claire Coppola/Kristen Nuss (LSU) def. Deahna Kraft/Brook Bauer (PEPP), 21-18, 23-21

2. Gigi Hernandez/Heidi Dyer (PEPP) def. Olivia Powers/Ashlyn Rasnick-Pope (LSU), 21-18, 19-21, 15-10

3. Alexis Filippone/Skylar Caputo (PEPP) def. Toni Rodriguez/Kelli Agnew (LSU), 22-20, 21-14

4. Taryn Kloth/Maddie Ligon (LSU) def. Simone Priebe/Maddie Dilfer (PEPP), 21-10, 21-12

5. Allison Coens/Hunter Domanski (LSU) def. Nikki Lyons/Katie Gavin, 21-15, 17-21, 15-13