CONWAY, S.C. – Securing a must win over Coastal Carolina, the Jacksonville University beach volleyball program is now one step closer to clinching a spot in the upcoming ASUN Conference Tournament. The Chanticleers hosted Mercer and Jacksonville Friday at the newly-constructed Coastal Carolina Beach Volleyball Complex, where the Dolphins split play in a 4-1 setback and 3-2 victory.
With a win tomorrow, JU will claim the sixth and final seed in the ASUN Tournament. First serve against the Chants is scheduled for 12 p.m.
"Today was a pivotal moment for us. I am so excited that we found our will to win and executed the game plan to pull out a W," said Director of Volleyball Julie Darty.
Mercer 4, Jacksonville 1
Three JU pairs fought Mercer to an extra set, but only Hanna McMahon and Jizzyan Gesualdo came out on top. The dual captured McMahon and Gesualdo's first union this season, and was evenly played through the first two frames, 21-17 and 21-18, before the pair cemented the win by five, 15-10.
1. Tori Penrod/Emily Krogman def. Cristina Finan/Mackenzie Swan (21-14, 21-14)
2. Emma Peel/Sophie Peel def. Megan Widener/Morgan Dees (21-13, 18-21, 15-13)
3. Claire Waliczek/Danielle Faust def. Shelby Babowicz/Natalie Wehner (21-6, 21-13)
4. Demi-Shay Watchorn/Madison Kerr def. Katie Krawczyk/Vanessa Richards (21-17, 18-21, 15-13)
5. Hanna McMahon/Jizzyan Gesualdo def. Alyssa Kirkman/Lela McIntosh (17-21, 21-18, 15-10)
Ext. Marina Chavez/Amber Gibson def. Mallory Mattingly/Tori Reiser (21-17, 21-19)
Jacksonville 3, Coastal Carolina 2
Jacksonville retired the Chants in the No. 3, 4 and 5 flights en route to its first conference win of the year.
The partnership of McMahon and Gesualdo continued its success with a three-set victory over CCU's No. 5 while Shelby Babowicz and Natalie Wehner tabbed their first win together (17-21, 21-18, 15-5) over the home side's No. 3.
After finishing its first stanza in extra points, 22-20, Jacksonville's 4s (Krawczyk and Richards) captured the Dolphins' lone straight set win of the day in convincing fashion – a seven point, 21-14 spread.
"I'm so proud of all of our pairs, but I think the pair that sticks out to me most is Natalie and Shelby," continued Darty. "They have been in a little funk and to find that rhythm when we needed that win so bad was big time. Hanna and Jizzy played quality volleyball today to put up two wins, and Van and Katie are really building some momentum and chemistry together and the product is really good. Overall, total team win but you have to celebrate those three pairs for grinding it out and getting it done."
1. Savovic, Natasa/Bishop, Tahleia def. Mackenzie Swan/Cristina Finan (21-18, 21-13)
2. Boothe, Sara/Davis, Katie def. Morgan Dees/Megan Widener (21-18, 21-19)
3. Shelby Babowicz/Natalie Wehner def. Mierzwa, Mika/Otto, Autumn (17-21, 21-18, 15-5)
4. Katie Krawczyk/Vanessa Richards def. Hardeman, Leah/Djuric, Aleksandra (22-20, 21-14)
5. Hanna McMahon/Jizzyan Gesualdo def. Mandic, Iva/Federico, Kate (19-21, 26-24, 15-10)
Ext. Lulic, Dora/Ladewig, Shelby def. Tori Reiser/Mallory Mattingly (21-10, 21-16)