TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The University of Hawai'i women's sand volleyball tasted defeat for the first time this season with a pair of 4-1 losses to Florida State in a Thursday afternoon doubleheader at the Seminole Sand Volleyball Complex.
After breezing through the competition in its first two events, the Rainbow Wahine (1-2) ran into a hot Seminole squad that improved to a perfect 11-0 in dual matches this season. UH had previously run through Hawai'i Pacific and Nittadai in a home tournament and Jacksonville in a dual match two days earlier without so much as dropping a set.
Despite the loss, UH was able to take down FSU's No. 1 team of Aurora Newgard and Brittany Tiegs in both matches. Top duo Emily Hartong and Elizabeth Stoltzman rallied for a 17-21, 21-17, 15-12 win over the pair in match one, while Jane Croson and Ashley Lee teamed up for a 21-18, 21-19 win on court 2 during the back end of the doubleheader.
UH provided stiff competition for the Seminoles who like UH had steamrolled through its previous competition. Despite dropping the first match by a 4-1 count, four of the five courts were hotly contested. Monica Stauber and Alex Griffiths battled Caitlin Haworth and Jeassica McGregor all the way until the end before falling 21-6, 17-21, 16-14. The combos of Larissa Nordyke-Ashley Lee (21-17, 21-17) and Jane Croson-Ginger Long (22-20, 21-18) were also on the wrong end of tight matches.
However, the second part of the doubleheader was not as close as FSU ramped up its play with straight set wins on four of five courts. Croson and Lee picked up UH's lone point on court 2, while the pair of Courtney Lelepali andJade Vorster nearly pulled out another point for the 'Bows before falling 24-22, 21-19 at court 4.
The Rainbow Wahine will conclude its tour through Florida with the North Florida Sand Invitational March 31 and April 1 in Jacksonville. Joining UH in the tournament will be College of Charleston, Florida Atlantic, Florida State, Jacksonville, UAB and host North Florida. The two-day event will feature pool play on Saturday followed by bracket play on Sunday. Saturday's competition features seven pools of five teams. The top two finishers in each pool along with the top two third-place finishers advance to gold bracket play on Sunday. A 12-team silver bracket and seven-team bronze bracket will also be contested Sunday.
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