Saturday, 13 April 2024

NCAA Beach Volleyball

Arizona Upsets No. 16 GCU, Goes 1-1 in Phoenix

Arizona Upsets No. 16 GCU, Goes 1-1 in Phoenix

PHOENIX – The Sand Cats went 1-1 against two top-20 opponents at the GCU Invitational, defeating No. 16 GCU and falling just short against No. 18 Stetson on Friday, March 29. 

Against Stetson, Arizona suffered a close 2-3 loss, with two out of five of the matches going to three sets. Later, when Arizona faced GCU, the Wildcats upset the Lopes on their home turf in a 3-2 victory. 

Arizona’s Abby Russell/Olivia McElroy went 1-1 at No. 1 for the day. After an early loss against Stetson, the pair came back in the afternoon to defeat GCU’s Krista Rowan/Sophia Hladyniuk. Russell and McElroy won a nail-biter of a first set (30-28) and finished the second set with a strong 21-16 victory to win the final and determining point of the dual for the Wildcats.

At No. 2, pair Grace Cook/Kylee Fitzsimmons lost a tight three-set match against Stetson’s Audrey Gauthier/Carolina Ferraris. Later in the day against GCU, Arizona rearranged its roster to have Cook and Fitzsimmons play at No. 3. The duo fell short to GCU’s 3’s pair in two close sets. Fitzsimmons and Cook are 6-3 (.667) together on the season.

Arizona’s Hope Shannon/Annie Kost defeated Stetson’s Alina Urzua/Alanna Shields in two sets at No. 3. In the match against GCU, the Wildcat pair moved up to play at No. 2 and defeated GCU’s Katie Keefe/Sarah Dickson in a hard-fought three sets. Going 2-0 at the GCU Invitational, Shannon and Kost are 9-0 together on the season.

Arizona’s Jess Horwath/Kate Phillips also faced a close battle against Stetson to start the day, ultimately falling short against the Hatters in three sets. When the pair faced GCU, Horwath and Phillips proved their persistence with a three-set win. The freshman pair now has a 14-4 (.778) season record. 

Against Stetson, pair Miranda Erro/Ashlyn Zilliken earned Arizona’s first point of the dual, defeating the Hatters in two sets at No. 5. In their later matchup against the Lopes, the pair fell just short in a close two sets. Erro and Zilliken are now 11-6 (.647) as a pair in the 2024 season. 



Next week, the Wildcats will head to Seattle for the Pac-12 North Invitational to face the University of California-Berkeley,…

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