Jacksonville, Fla. - The inaugural Atlantic Sun Conference Sand Volleyball Championships concluded Sunday morning with single-elimination bracket play in each of five flights. Stetson pairs won two championships in those five brackets: freshmen Maren Rygh (Tonsberg, Norway) and Alexa Stonish (Stony Brook, N.Y.) at the #2 seed and the duo of freshman Savannah Byl (Bradenton, Fla.) and senior Kaylee Ream (Venice, Fla.) at the #5 seed.
Freshman Julie Bassett (Wadsworth, Ohio) was named A-Sun Freshman of the Year at the conclusion of the championships with Stetson's #4 seed pair of sophomore Katie DiGirolamo (Bradenton, Fla.) and freshman Stephanie Marin (Naples, Fla.) being selected to the All-Tournament Team. DiGirolamo and Marin went 4-0 in Friday and Saturday's dual match competition, helping the Hatters go 3-1 against the field (FGCU, JU, Mercer and A-Sun champion North Florida) and take second place overall.
The threat of inclement weather forced Sunday's matches to be shortened to a single set to 25 points rather than a full best-of-three match. Rygh and Stonish went overtime to beat Jacksonville's Kathryn Kane and Sami Strausbaugh 30-28 in their semifinal match, then rolled past FGCU's Karina Mambuca and Olivia Mesner 28-17 in the #2 seed title match. On the #5 seed courts, Byl and Ream beat Jenna Orner and Alyssa Robertson of Jacksonville 28-25 in the semifinals before defeating Nicole Baran and Allison Shirley of UNF 28-26 for the title.
Other superlative award winners were the UNF duo of Anna Budinska and Dagnija Medina as A-Sun Pair of the Year and their leader Steve Loeswick as A-Sun Coach of the Year.
Bassett and sophomore Kaley Melville (New Germany, Minn.) will conclude the season April 27-29 at the AVCA Collegiate National Championships in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
DAY 3 STETSON RESULTS
Flight 1 - Anna Budinska/Dagnija Medina (UNF) def. Julie Bassett/Kaley Melville (STET) 28-20
Flight 2 - Maren Rygh/Alexa Stonish (STET) def. Kathryn Kane/Sami Strausbaugh (JU) 30-28; Rygh/Stonish def. Karina Mambuca/Olivia Mesner (FGCU) 28-17
Flight 3 - Brooke Kohler/Brittany Muse (FGCU) def. Alisha Hoffman/Claudia Kalin (STET) 28-16
Flight 4 - Cameron McGuire/Paige Pridgeon (UNF) def. Katie DiGirolamo/Stephanie Marin (STET) 28-25
Flight 5 - Savannah Byl/Kaylee Ream (STET) def. Jenna Orner/Alyssa Robertson (JU) 28-25; Byl/Ream def. Nicole Baran/Allison Shirley (UNF) 28-26
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