The Daily Nole

FSU Beach Volleyball’s Season Ends with Heartbreaking Loss to Hawaii

Bill Love/FSU athletics

Florida State’s fourth-seeded beach volleyball team fought with everything it had on Saturday at the NCAA Championships in Gulf Shores, Alabama, but the season ended with a 3-2 loss to No. 5 seed Hawaii.

The Warriors defeated the Seminoles for a second straight day, but this time in an absolute thriller. Hawaii jumped to a 2-0 lead, but FSU was able to even things up as the FSU combos of Vanessa Freire/Victoria Paranagua and Leigh Andrew/Brooke Kuhlman won thrilling 3-set matches.

The attention then turned to Court 5 where FSU’s Hailey Luke and Eva Toruella went back-and-forth with Hawaii’s Amy Ozee and Hannah Zalopany in a marathon match, but the Warriors eventually outlasted the Seminoles, 21-17, 18-21, 27-25. The loss to Hawaii means that FSU will end its season with a record of 29-9.

The Seminoles opened the day with a 3-1 win over No. 2 seed UCLA. Katie Horton and Francesca Goncalves got FSU off to a strong start with a straight set win, but the UCLA duo of Torrey Van Winden and Elise Zappia returned the favor by beating Sierra Sanchez/Macy Jerger in straight sets, 21-13, 21-13.

FSU was able to clinch the match with a pair of 3-set victories. Freire and Paranagua gave FSU a 2-1 lead by beating UCLA’s Kamila Tan and Madi Yeoman’s, 21-18, 16-21, 15-10. Kuhlman and Andrew later sealed the match for the Seminoles and ended UCLA’s season with a thrilling 21-19, 16-21. 17-15 victory over the Bruins’ sister combination of Nicole and Megan McNamara.

Hawaii moves on to play Pepperdine on Sunday. The winner will face No. 1 seed and reigning national champion USC for the national championship later in the day.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

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