Fresh off a home doubleheader sweep of Florida Atlantic on Tuesday, the Stetson sand volleyball team heads north this weekend to compete in the JU Easter Sand Volleyball Tournament, held Friday and Saturday at the Dolphin Beach Volleyball complex.
The Hatters (7-4, 2-0 A-Sun) will compete in five matches in a span of about 30 hours, including two A-Sun matches against the host Dolphins (1-1, 1-1 A-Sun) and three tough regional matches against the College of Charleston (2-1), Florida State (5-2), and UAB (6-3).
Both Florida State and the College of Charleston competed in last year's inaugural collegiate sand volleyball championships, and the Hatters will be looking to avenge an earlier loss this season to UAB.
"This weekend is a great chance for us to work toward some of our team goals," Stetson head coach Tim Loesch said. "Our first priority is to focus on our conference matches and extend our lead in the A-Sun regular season standings. After that we will take advantage of the opportunity to compete against the other top programs in our region. I know that our girls are eager to play and will fight for each match as they have all season."
The Hatters enter the weekend on a roll, having won four straight matches by a combined score of 19-1. Stetson's no. 1 pair of Julie Bassett and Kaley Melville have won six matches in a row, while the no. 3 pair of Katie DiGirolamo and Jordann Diericx have won five straight matches.
"This will be a big weekend for us with five total games," Melville said. "We played FSU quite a bit last year, and every small school wants to beat a big state school, so we are very excited to be facing them again. We are also looking forward to extending our undefeated conference record against Jacksonville."
On Friday, Stetson will face Jacksonville at 10 a.m. and the College of Charleston at 3 p.m. On Saturday, the Hatters will again face the Dolphins at 8:30 a.m., then will take on Florida State at noon and UAB at 2 p.m. Fans can follow @StetsonVB on twitter for the latest results.