Beach Defeats Cal; Will Take On UCLA Friday at NCAA Championship
GULF SHORES, Ala. – Wednesday’s single-elimination match went down to the wire, but LSU edged out Cal, 3-2, to advance to the double-elimination bracket which is set to begin on Friday.
Everybody in LSU’s lineup aside from Ashlyn Rasnick-Pope on Court 5 and Kelli Greene-Agnew on Court 2 were playing in their first ever match at the NCAA Championship Tournament.
“We needed this match to be tested like this in this format to gain some confidence,” head coach Russell Brock said.
LSU will square off against UCLA Friday at noon CT on ESPNU and will play a second match on Friday no matter the outcome. UCLA’s Wednesday match against Stetson was a nail-biter, but the Bruins survived a scare by the Hatters.
“We’ve battled a few times against UCLA and it’s been really close so we know it’s going to be a battle,” Brock said. “I am glad we got a battle right out of the box (today) because that’s all it’s going to be from here on out.”
With the match tied at two courts, Sierra Caffo and Ashlyn Rasnick-Pope took Court 5 in three sets to send LSU into the next round in Gulf Shores.
“That’s what we expect them to do,” Coach Brock said of the three-set win on Court 5. “We knew when we came into this weekend, we needed to be great through the middle and bottom part of our lineup.
Grace Seits and Ellie Shank got thing started for the Tigers on Court 4 with a dominating performance, 21-12 and 21-14. Cal evened the match though with a straight-set win on Court 1, defeating LSU’s Balla Bauman and Parker Bracken.
On Court 3, Reilly Allred and Holly Carlton battled to victory. They earned hard fought wins in both the first and second sets, 21-19 and 21-18, to get the Tigers closer to clinching the match. On Court 2, Kylie Deberg and Kelli Greene-Agnew dropped the first set, 21-17, but came back strong with a 21-15 win in the second set. After trailing by three for much of the third set, Deberg and Greene-Agnew tied it up at 13, but were unable to hang on as Cal evened the match at two courts.
It all came down to Sierra Caffo and Ashlyn Rasnick-Pope on Court 5. The LSU duo fell, 24-22, in a tightly contested first set, but bounced back in the second set, 21-17. Caffo and Rasnick-Pope were dominant in the third, leaving Cal no chance as they took it, 15-6.
LSU 3, Cal 2
- Tia Miric/Ella Connor (CAL) def. Parker Bracken/Bella Bauman (LSU) 21-18, 21-15
- Piper Ferch/Jayelin Lombard (CAL) def. Kelli Greene-Agnew/Kylie Deberg (LSU) 21-18, 15-21, 15-13
- Reilly Allred/Holly Carlton (LSU) def. Addison Hermstad/Peyton Dueck (CAL) 21-19, 21-18
- Grace Seits/Ellie Shank (LSU) def. Mariah Whalen/Piper Naess (CAL) 21-12, 21-14
- Ashlyn Rasnick-Pope/Sierra Caffo (LSU) def. Josie Ulrich/Vanessa Roscoe (CAL) 22-24, 21-17, 15-6