The Stetson sand volleyball team swept visiting Mercer Saturday by scores of 4-1 and 5-0 Saturday in the Atlantic Sun Conference regular season finale at the Stetson sand volleyball courts.
Both the Hatters (11-9, 5-3 A-Sun) and Bears (0-15, 0-8) battled through very windy conditions throughout the two matches.
“It was a tough day with the wind, but the girls adjusted to it and executed our game plan," Stetson head coach Tim Loesch said. "Mercer was very tough. Their number one and number five were especially competitive with us and forced us to play our best.”
After dropping a pair of matches to UNF on Wednesday, Loesch juggled his line-up among the top three pairs. Maren Rygh was paired with Kaley Melville at no. 1 on Saturday, while Julie Bassett was paired with Claudia Kalin and Savannah Byl was paired with Katie DiGirolamo at the no. 2 and no. 3 positions.
“I am really proud of the girls because they responded and played well despite having just a practice or two together,” Loesch said.
Stetson completed its A-Sun slate with a 5-3 mark, and the Hatters will have to wait until Wednesday to see if they will be the no. 2 or no. 3 seed for the conference tournament.
“Hopefully we will finish second in the conference," Loesch said. "We wanted to finish as strong as we could and the girls did that.”
The Hatters honored their lone senior, Alisha Hoffman, prior to the match. Hoffman won both of her matches Saturday while paired with Catherine Coston at the no. 4 position. She was named to the academic all-conference team last season.
"Alisha played well and it was nice for her to end her career at home with a couple of wins,” Loesch said.
While the Hatters have completed their head-to-head dual matches for the regular season, the team will participate in the Siesta Key Fiesta next weekend. Individual pairs will compete in bracket play against teams from throughout the region.
"It should be a fun event on the other coast," Loesch said. "It will give our entire team more experience on the beach and will hopefully help prepare us for the conference tournament. All of the girls will get a chance to play in that event, which will have almost all of the schools in the Southeast. I think 11 of the 13 teams, so almost everyone will be there.”
Match 1: Stetson 4, Mercer 1
No. 1 - Marin Rygh/Kaley Melville (Stet) def. Jennifer Katona/Jamie Duffy (Mer) 19-21, 21-16, 15-12
No. 2 - Julie Bassett/Claudia Kalin (Stet) def. Emily Rochefort/Caroline Carlton (Mer) 21-14, 25-23
No. 3 - Katie DiGirolomo/Savannah Byl (Stet) def. Madison Petsos/Molly Locke (Mer) 21-15, 21-10
No. 4 - Alisha Hoffman/Catherine Coston (Stet) def. Zoe Becton/Codi Schepp (Mer) 21-14, 21-13
No. 5 - Carly Iannarino/Erin Breft (Mer) def. Erika White/Erin Robertson (Stet) 23-25, 22-20, 15-7
No. 6 (Exh) - Ellen Hawks/Kara Young (Stet) def. Hannah Noon/Charlayna Braxton (Mer) 21-18, 21-17
Match 2: Stetson 5, Mercer 0
No. 1 - Marin Rygh/Kaley Melville (Stet) def. Jennifer Katona/Jamie Duffy (Mer) 21-18, 21-12
No. 2 - Katie DiGirolomo/Savannah Byl (Stet) def. Emily Rochefort/Caroline Carlton (Mer) 21-11, 25-11
No. 3 - Julie Bassett/Claudia Kalin (Stet) def. Madison Petsos/Molly Locke (Mer) 21-14, 21-7
No. 4 - Alisha Hoffman/Catherine Coston (Stet) def. Zoe Becton/Codi Schepp (Mer) 21-15, 21-15
No. 5 - Kendale Speyerer/Taylor Kennedy (Stet) def. Carly Iannarino/Erin Breft (Mer) 21-13, 21-13
No. 6 (Exh) - Erika White/Jordann Dierickx (Stet) def. Hannah Noon/Charlayna Braxton (Mer) 21-14, 21-10