The Daily Nole

FSU BVB Takes Down Defending Champs, Top Seed to Open NCAA Tourney

Mitch White/FSU athletics

What a day it was for Florida State. The Seminoles started the first day of the NCAA Tournament with a bang, defeating 3-time defending national champion USC and top-seeded UCLA by identical 3-1 scores.

No. 4 seed FSU took down the Women of Troy to open the NCAA Beach Volleyball Tournament in Gulf Shores, Alabama on Friday. Katie Horton and Hailey Luke clinched the match for the Seminoles with a 3-set victory over fifth-seeded USC’s Terese Cannon and Sammy Slater, 21-13, 16-21, 15-8.

FSU duos of Macy Jerger and Sara Putt and Madison Fitzpatrick and Francesca Goncalves each won in straight sets to give the Seminoles their first two points. The lone USC point came with Abril Bustamante and Tina Graundina topping the Seminoles’ combination of Vanessa Freire and Tory Paranagua in straight sets.

All three dual victories for Florida State against UCLA came in straight sets. Molly McBain and Brooke Kuhlman clinched the match for FSU with a thrilling 21-18, 28-26 win over UCLA’s Mac May and Elise Zappia.

The Seminoles got the scoring started with a 21-16, 21-19 victory from Fitzpatrick and Goncalves over Izzy Carey and Megan Muret. Putt and Jerger notched a straight set victory over the Bruins’ combo of Savvy Simo and Zana Muno, 21-14, 21-18.

The lone UCLA match victory came from Nicole and Megan McNamara. They topped FSU’s Freire and Paranagua. Horton and Luke were one point away from winning on Court 2.

The Seminoles will advance to play again on Saturday. FSU needs one win to advance to the national championship round.

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

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