Beach Earns Gulf Shores Fall Victory

by Grant Kauvar | Communications Graduate Assistant
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Beach Earns Gulf Shores Fall Victory

GULF SHORES, Ala.– On the same beach LSU finished third in the nation at in May, the Tigers won the Gulf Shores Collegiate Beach Bash on Saturday.

“I’m really proud of how the team played in Gulf Shores,” said head coach Russell Brock. “Any time you can make that drive, play on that beach, and play well, that’s a great weekend.”                       

LSU took on pairs from Florida State, Spring Hill College, Northern Alabama, Tulane and Southern Mississippi on Saturday in windy and rainy conditions. LSU was declared the winner on Monday after all the results were tallied.

“To have the chance to play in a heavy crosswind that changed into a heavy end to end wind was invaluable for our development,” said head coach Russell Brock. “I could not have been more impressed with how our teams handled the conditions.”

The format was set up where each pair played four two-set matches against pairs from the other schools. Not all schools had the same amount of pairs represented in Gulf Shores meaning the winner was determined by set winning-percentage. 

LSU defeated Florida State as the Tigers went 67-21 (.761) in all of its sets combined compared to the Seminoles’ 47-17 (.734). Southern Mississippi finished the day in third place, going 13-11 (.541).

“Everyone had great moments, but the 8-0 and 7-1 teams really made a statement,” Brock said. Obviously we expect Claire (Coppola) and Kristen (Nuss) to lead the way, but to have seven freshmen and sophomores contribute with their partners on those most successful teams says a lot about the depth and talent of our group.”

Seniors Claire Coppola and Kristen Nuss, LSU’s all-time winningest pair, the pair of freshman Grace Seits and Junior Tatum Ballard along with freshmen Elizabeth Masters and Lara Boos all swept all eight of their sets.

Junior Kahlee York and sophomore Ashlyn Rasnick-Pope plus sophomore Allison Coens and freshman Sydney Moore went 7-1.

Senior Olivia Powers and sophomore Melia Lindner were the only pair to go 6-2.

The pairs of senior Toni Rodriguez and junior Hunter Domanski plus junior Nicole Decker, Alexis Toney, and grad transfer Jess Schaben and sophomore Hailey Cabeceiras all went 5-3. Senior Taryn Kloth and sophomore Kelli Agnew along with freshmen Sierra Caffo and Natalie Martin rounded the day off at 4-4.

“Any time you can get a win in that environment against other good teams,” Brock explained, “that’s something to celebrate. It’s just fall competition, so there’s no real lasting value, but at the end of the day, we want to be in a position to win.”

LSU has played in Gulf Shores at the NCAA Championship each of the past three seasons. In May, the Tigers went on its longest postseason run ever to the NCAA semi-finals and finished a program-best third in the nation.

This coming Saturday, the Tigers will compete in Huntsville, Alabama in the Rally Fall Competition at the 2020 home of the CCSA Tournament, John Hunt Volleyball Complex.

For the latest information on LSU Beach Volleyball, fans can follow the Tigers on Twitter and Instagram @LSUbeachVB and @RussLSUbeach, or on Facebook by liking LSU Beach Volleyball.