Damian Elder, sand volleyball finish inaugural season at 1-9


The Mercer women’s sand volleyball team lost three matches in the inaugural Atlantic Sun Women’s Sand Volleyball Championships, knocking them out of the tournament and keeping them from winning a title.
Damien Elder’s team was eliminated from contention for the Atlantic Sun Championship on the first day of play, dropping a pair of contests.  Mercer was defeated by Jacksonville 4-1 before losing to North Florida 5-0 at the JU Dolphin Beach Volleyball Complex.
The first flight team of Cassie Roy and Jamie Duffy lost to Jacksonville in a highly contested two-set match, falling short in the first 22-20 and 21-19 in the second against North Florida, the pairing of Roy and Duffy were unable to pull out a win losing in two sets 21-13 and 21-16.
In the second flight, Jennifer Katona and Monica Sanchez lost both sets to Jacksonville 21-16 and 21-13. They also dropped the match to North Florida in two sets as well losing both sets 21-15 and 21-16.
Mercer’s lone point of the day came in the third flight against Jacksonville, as Mercer’s pairing of Caroline Carlton and Emily Rochefort claimed a straight-sets (21-16, 21-13) victory over Niatha Cullen and Nicole Teplitz. After winning a competitive match against JU, Rochefort and Carlton could not pull out a victory against North Florida losing in two sets 21-16 and 23-21.
The fourth flight team made up of Charlayna Braxton and Madison Petsos lost to Jacksonville in two sets in a highly competitive match, dropping the first set 25-23 and the second set 21-16. They also lost both sets to North Florida’s fourth flight team 21-12 and 21-18.
In the fifth flight, Erin Brett and Lizzie Knapper could not garner a win in an intense three-set match. The Bears’ duo would take the first in an impressive 23-21 fashion. They would then drop the next two sets 21-17 and 17-15. Against North Florida, Brett and Knapper lost in two sets, 21-13 and 21-16.
On the second day of play, the sand volleyball squad took on Florida Gulf Coast. Mercer fell by a 4-1.
After claiming a 21-18 first set victory, Mercer’s No. 1 pairing of Cassie Roy and Jamie Duffy dropped the second set by a 21-15 margin, setting the stage for a deciding third frame.  Roy and Duffy edged Kaitlin Holm and Holly Youngquist 15-12 in the third set to book Mercer’s only point of the afternoon.
Jennifer Katona and Monica Sanchez lost the second flight in two sets losing the first 21-14 and the second 21-11.
Emily Rochefort and Caroline Carlton also dropped both sets in the third flight match-up, being edged out 21-13 and 21-11.
Charlayna Braxton and Madison Petsos lost their fourth flight matchup in two sets as well, dropping the first 21-12 and only narrowly losing the second 22-20.
Lizzie Knapper and Erin Brett played two extremely close sets, but were unable to prevail against Florida Gulf Coast’s fifth flight team. They lost the first set 21-18, and the second 22-20.
The Bears then went on to face Stetson University.  With no one being able to garner a victory, each Mercer pairing lost in two sets.
This concludes the women’s sand volleyball inaugural season. The team will now focus on their indoor season beginning in the fall of 2012.