The Stetson sand volleyball team concluded its season on Sunday as freshman Kaylee Anderson and senior Kaley Melville competed in the AVCA Collegiate Pairs Championship. The Hatter duo fell in the first round of the single-elimination bracket to Florida State’s Aurora Davis and Jace Pardon.
The championship bracket featured the top 16 pairs after the Best of the Rest competition and Team Championship on Friday and Saturday. Receiving the No. 15 seed, Anderson and Melville faced the No. 2 seed of Davis and Pardon. In the first set, the Stetson duo jumped to an early lead with a score of 4-3 during the first side change. However, Florida State responded with an ace from Davis, which gave the Seminoles a 6-5 lead. After that, Anderson and Melville were never able to regain the lead and dropped the first set 21-12.
“Mel and Kaylee started off strong against FSU,” head coach Kristina Hernandez said. “They battled point for point. We just got stuck not siding out for a few string of points and it made it difficult to recover.”
Despite a strong defensive effort, the second set had a similar result. Florida State’s Davis and Pardon outlasted Anderson and Melville 21-9 to advance to the quarterfinals.
“They have matured a lot as a pair,” Hernandez said about Anderson and Melville. “Both are returning next year, and they will be even stronger from the tough opponents they saw this weekend.”
On Saturday, Stetson’s Savannah Byl and Catherine Coston competed in a play-in match to qualify for the Pairs Championships. The duo played Long Beach State’s top seed of Delaney Aigner-Swesey and Bojana Todorovic. Byl and Coston played a hard-fought match, but they ultimately fell 21-13, 21-10 to Aigner-Swesey and Todorovic.
“Cat and Savanah played well against LBSU,” Hernandez said. “We started off strong but then had some unforced errors that made the gap hard to close. They kept fighting though. They have really progressed a lot since season begin, and I am excited to see how much they will get better coming into next season.”
Stetson finished its season with a winning 18-6 record and an Atlantic Sun Conference Championship.