The Stetson sand volleyball team split a pair of matches Friday at the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament in Fort Myers, Fla.
The Hatters (15-4) fell 3-2 to Jacksonville before defeating host Florida Gulf Coast 4-1 to advance in the A-Sun Championship bracket.
"Jacksonville was a tough, disappointing game," head coach Kristina Hernandez said. "I don't feel like we played to our best potential, but we were able to bounce back with a win over FGCU to keep us going."
Tied 2-2 in the first contest, the decision came down to the second seed as Stetson's Savannah Byl and Catherine Coston faced Jacksonville’s Kendall Courtney and Niatha Cullen. After falling 21-17 in the first set, Byl and Coston came back and won the second set 21-17. However, Courtney and Cullen outlasted the Stetson pair 15-11 in the third set to give Jacksonville the win.
Stetson then battled Florida Gulf Coast in an elimination match. The Hatters took an early 2-0 lead with straight set wins at both the fourth and fifth seeds. In the no. 2 position, Savannah Byl and Catherine Coston secured a victory for Stetson by defeating Florida Gulf Coast’s Caroline Jordan and Elenora Kazarian 21-18, 21-16. Julie Bassett and Rachael Farrell got another win in three sets at the three spot. Stetson narrowly missed a sweep, picking up a loss at the top seed.
Tiffany Creamer and Kristin Lind went undefeated for the day. They won 21-15, 26-24 in the first match and 21-15, 21-12 in the second.
The Hatters have a challenging road ahead of them tomorrow as they will have to win three back-to-back matches in order to take home the Atlantic Sun Championship title.
"Tomorrow, it will be important for us to take advantage of the opportunities we have in our matches to create points in order for us to make It to the championship," Hernandez explained. "We need to play with the level of composure and aggressiveness that we have been so that we can play tough matches back-to-back-to-back"
Stetson's first match on Saturday will start at 11 a.m. as the Hatters will face Mercer in another elimination match.