The Stetson sand volleyball team fell twice in a home Atlantic Sun Conference doubleheader to UNF on Tuesday. The Hatters lost both hard-fought matches by a score of 3-2.
Tied 2-2 in the first contest, the decision came down to the top seed as Stetson's Kaley Melville and Kaylee Anderson faced UNF's Dagnija Medina and Kimberly Hildreth. Melville and Anderson took the first set 21-18. However, Medina and Hildreth outlasted the Stetson pair 22-20 in the second set. Unable to regain the momentum, Melville and Anderson fell in the third set 15-5.
The second match of the doubleheader proved another close battle between the two teams. After a loss at the second seed, Stetson's fifth seed of Tiffany Creamer and Kristin Lind earned a 21-14, 21-19 win to tie the score 1-1. The Hatters picked up another loss at the no. 4 spot, giving UNF a 2-1 lead. At the top seed, Melville and Anderson encountered the UNF pair of Medina and Hildreth again. This time, the Stetson pair rallied for a two-set win (21-19, 21-19) to once again tie the score. But UNF was able to survive with a three-set win from the no. 3 position.
“We did some good things,” Stetson head coach Kristina Hernandez said. ““I thought 'Mel' and Kaylee did a really good job of coming back and being aggressive in the second match. In our pairs we have to do better dealing with frustration and maintaining the same level of play from the first set to the third set. That is really important, especially against a team like North Florida who is the defending champs and has a lot of experience."
In addition to Melville and Anderson, Hernadez also praised Creamer and Lind for their performance.
“Kristin and Tiffany did a phenomenal job today, especially in the first match,” Hernandez said. “They were down by 11 points in the second set, and they kept their composure and kept chipping at it, and they pulled it out. That was a really great showing. I was really proud to see them pull that out and stay aggressive in a situation where they could have easily just given that up.”
Creamer and Lind were the only Stetson pair to go undefeated for the day. They won 21-13, 21-16 in the first match and 21-14, 21-19 in the second.
Stetson is now 4-2 in the Atlantic Sun conference and 10-2 overall. The Hatters travel to Boca Raton, Fla. next to play Florida Atlantic. The first match is set for 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 2nd.