Beach volleyball: UNM drops two in Florida tournament - Albuquerque Journal

Beach volleyball: UNM drops two in Florida tournament

 TAVARES, Fla. — The University of New Mexico beach volleyball team (2-9) closed out the two-day Hickory Point Lake Bash on Saturday with a pair of 3-2 losses, falling to UNC Wilmington (6-5) and the College of Charleston (5-3).
Saturday‘s results came on the heels of a solid, if not winning, showing on Friday as New Mexico battled three teams, including two that were nationally ranked.
The Lobos, who entered the week receiving votes in both the DiG Magazine Poll and the AVCA Coaches Poll, put up strong fights against all of their opponents this weekend, coming within points of claiming some wins.
UNM narrowly lost to No. 14/13 Florida International and No. 15/18 Stetson on Friday, and came close to seizing victories against Houston Baptist and the College of Charleston, which were both receiving votes in the poll.
However, New Mexico struggled to convert in key positions, as only one pair, Eastyn Baleto & Lauren Twitty, posted a winning record on the weekend.
But, five different pairings registered wins for the still-learning Lobos as they shuffled their lineup during the course of the weekend. Among those was the tandem of Maddie Irwin & Erin Martin, who went 2-0 on Saturday.
UNM will get more opportunities to continue growing as they return to action in two weeks to host Arizona State, Colorado Mesa and Abilene Christian on March 30-31 for the team’s only home weekend of the 2018 campaign.
UNC Wilmington 3, New Mexico 2
New Mexico looked to be in position to capture the win against UNC Wilmington early Friday morning, but a couple of tough breaks put a stop to the Lobos’ bid.
Despite wins on the Nos. 1 and 5 courts, UNM stalled out in the middle of its lineup, dropping one court in three sets and having its most consistent pair of the weekend lose a key point.
Nonetheless, the Lobos did open the match positively, with the tandem of Abbey Willison & Kayla Long earning a gutsy 22-20, 22-20 over the Seahawks’ Courtney Mullinax & Jaime Thomas at the 5’s.
Maddie Irwin & Erin Martin also chipped in a point, earning their first win of the weekend on the strength of a 21-15, 21-15 handling of Maddy Kline & Nicole Lott on the No. 1 court.
However, that was as far as New Mexico would get, falling on the other three courts.
Baleto & Twitty, undefeated on Friday, stumbled against UNCW’s Halle Hunt & JM Lewandowski on the No. 2 court, dropping a 23-21, 21-18 contest.
At the No. 3 position, Chloe Crappell & Yasmin Tan fell in three sets, 21-19, 14-21, 15-9 to Sarah Kelly & Raquel Rooney, while Carly Beddingfield & Mercedes Pacheco fell 21-14, 21-18 to Brynn Montgomery & Katie McCullough at the No. 4 position.
College of Charleston 3, New Mexico 2
A couple of hours later, New Mexico returned the sand to face off against the College of Charleston in the team’s final match of the Hickory Point Lake Bash.
But, the Lobos didn’t have any different luck against the Cougars as they dropped the match 3-2 for their fourth such result of the weekend.
Irwin & Martin led the way at the top-seeded court, registering a 21-19, 21-17 win over the College of Charleston’s Katja Ehlers & Krissy Mummey. It was the second straight win after a rough Friday where they came up short in two three-set matches.
Crappell & Tan added another point for New Mexico as they teamed up for a 21-19, 23-21 triumph over Riana Brennan & Kennedy Madison.
After going winless through the first eight matches of the season, Tan finished the weekend winning two of her last three matches.
But the Lobos would be unable to score any more, dropping points at the 2’s, 4’s and 5’s.
At the No. 2 position, Baleto & Twitty won the first set vs. Devon Rachel & McKala Rhodes, but couldn’t hold off their opponents as they fell in three sets, 12-21, 21-12, 15-6.
Beddingfield & Pacheco also lost on the No. 4 court, falling 21-10, 21-13 to the College of Charleston’s Allison Beckman & Lauren Freed.
Rounding out the action were Willison & Long, who dropped a 21-14, 21-14 contest to Taylor Foley & Logan Manusky at the No. 5 position.
UNC Wilmington 3, New Mexico 2
1. Maddie Irwin & Erin Martin (UNM) def. Maddy Kline & Nicole Lott (UNCW) 21-15, 21-15
2. Halle Hunt & JM Lewandowski (UNCW) def. Eastyn Baleto & Lauren Twitty (UNM) 21-23, 21-18
3. Sarah Kelly & Raquel Rooney (UNCW) def. Chloe Crappell & Yasmin Tan (UNM) 21-19, 14-21, 15-9
4. Brynn Montgomery & Katie McCullough (UNCW) def. Carly Beddingfield & Mercedes Pacheco (UNM) 21-14, 21-18
5. Abbey Willison & Kayla Long (UNM) def. Courtney Mullinax & Jaime Thomas (UNCW) 22-20, 22-2
Order of finish: 4, 5, 2, 3*, 1
*Clinched dual win
College of Charleston 3, New Mexico 2
1. Maddie Irwin & Erin Martin (UNM) def. Katja Ehlers & Krissy Mummey (COFC) 21-19, 21-17
2. Devon Rachel & McKala Rhodes (COFC) def. Eastyn Baleto & Lauren Twitty (UNM) 12-21, 21-12, 15-6
3. Chloe Crappell & Yasmin Tan (UNM) def. Riana Brennan & Kennedy Madison 21-19, 23-21
4. Allison Beckman & Lauren Freed (COFC) def. Carly Beddingfield & Mercedes Pacheco (UNM) 21-10, 21-13
5. Taylor Foley & Logan Manusky (COFC) def. Abbey Willison & Kayla Long (UNM) 21-14, 21-14
Order of Finish: 5, 4, 2*, 3, 1 
*Cinched dual win 

 

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