Pacific Sand Volleyball: Tigers Take Their First-Ever Sand Match
For the first time in program history the Pacific sand volleyball team took home the win as the Tigers defeated Sacramento State, 3-2, on the road on Saturday, March 23. The match was the third of the year for the Tigers as Pacific moved to 1-2 on the year while the Hornets fell to 1-2, as well.
"It was great to watch our girls cheer each other on as all the matches were extremely competitive," said head coach Greg Gibbons. "What a great win for our sand team. We are getting better every week and the girls are having a lot of fun learning and playing beach volleyball."
After building their abilities over the past two weeks, the Tigers finally broke through for their first match victory of the season as Pacific took wins at No. 1, No. 3, and No. 5 doubles to beat the Hornets 3-2 on Saturday afternoon. Starting the day, the Tigers split the first two matches of the afternoon as the team of junior Megan Birch and sophomore Katy Tagart got Pacific its first win against the Hornets with a fight at No. 5. Pushed to extra-points in the first set, Birch and Tagart responded to win 24-22 to take the early lead. From there, the duo put stepped on the gas to cruise to a 21-11 win in the second set for the win. Birch led the way with 11 kills and one block while Tagart was a defensive ace with 19 digs to go along with eight kills and four aces.
Just missing the two sets to none lead after a close three-set loss at No. 4 doubles, the Tigers again jumped out front of the Hornets with a win at No. 3 behind a 2-0 sweep by sophomore Gillian Howard and freshman Mia Feiner. Just like Birch and Tagart at No. 5, Howard and Feiner were pushed in set one before winning 21-19 to grab the opening set. Again, the Tiger duo went for the throat as they ran away with set two, 21-10, to take the victory. Howard guided the attack in the match as the sophomore posted 14 kills on 27 attacks while also posting 11 digs, one block and four aces while Feigher added 14 digs and two aces.
With a chance to put the Hornets away with the top two teams hitting the court, the Tigers looked to their top team to provide the final victory. Playing at No. 1, the Tigers got just what they were looking for as Pacific picked up a convincing win from senior Hannah Clancy and freshman Kat Schulz against the Hornets' Jessie Genger and Sydney Kordic. Taking the first set, 21-15, the top Tigers ran away with the second set, 21-10, to pick up their first victory as partners. Throughout the match, the two Tigers played nearly even as Schulz led the way with 13 kills, 11 digs and two aces while Clancy picked up 12 kills, nine digs and a pair of aces.
At No. 2 doubles, the Tigers were edged out in three just as they were at No. 4 doubles. Playing at No. 2, junior Jennifer Sanders and freshman Anne-Sophie Bauer found themselves in a slugfest as they lost 23-25, 24-22, 15-8. In the match, Sanders was all over the court as she recorded a team-best 21 kills to go along with 20 digs while Bauer finished with a team-best 23 digs to go along with 15 kills.
The Tigers are back in the sand on April 7 in Sacramento as they take on Cal and San Francisco from the Hornets' home courts. Pacific and Cal play first at 9:00 am while the Tigers take on the Dons later in the day at 3:00 pm.
Pacific (1-2) 3 - Sacramento State (1-2) 2
Flight 1. Clancy/Schulz (PAC) d. Kordic/Genger (SAC) (21-15, 21-10)
Flight 2. Beal/Aprile (SAC) d. Bauer/Sanders (PAC) (23-25, 24-22, 15-8)
Flight 3. Feiner/Howard (PAC) d. Hettinga/Ivy (SAC) (21-19, 21-10)
Flight 4. Aikels/Lovett (SAC) d. Wilk/Whitson (PAC) (18-21, 21-15, 15-10)
Flight 5. Tagart/Birch (PAC) d. Elston/Menees (SAC) (24-22, 21-11)