By Sean McKnight, Sports Editor
As most of us were enjoying the long overdue warm weather that makes Florida such a special place, the sand volleyball team were hard at work over the weekend.
Thanks to solid teamwork and momentum from their opening matches of the season, the sand volleyball team continued its perfect start to the 2014 season with wins over arch rivals University of North Florida on Friday as well as Jacksonville and Webber International on Saturday.
For the first time in three seasons, the Stetson sand volleyball team defeated UNF Friday, winning by a score of 3-2 at the Ron Jon Beach N Boards Fest in Cocoa Beach. Led by wins at the number 2, 3, and 5 positions, the Hatters defeated their conference rivals and improved to 3-0 on the season.
Two Hatters were victorious in their season debuts Friday. Graduate student Rachael Farrell made her first appearance in a Hatter uniform and teamed with Julie Bassett for a 2-0 victory at the number 2 seed.
Catherine Coston was also triumphant in her season debut, a 2-0 win with Savannah Byl at the number three spot. Maren Rygh and Jordan Dierickx also picked up a win for the Hatters, a come-from-behind 2-1 victory at the number five position to top the Ospreys.
Stetson had been winless in six tries all-time against the Ospreys, including an 0-5 mark last season. Unfortunaetly, Friday’s match will not count toward the regular season conference standings.
On Saturday, the Hatters defeated Webber International in the morning and Jacksonville in the afternoon to improve to 5-0 on the season. Stetson’s number 3 pairing of Savannah Byl and Catherine Coston won both of their matches as well as going 2-0 in those matches. Maren Rygh and Jordann Dierickx also went a perfect 2-0 on the day at the number 4 spot.
The dynamic duo defeated Webber International 2-1 before sweeping Jacksonville 2-0. Also for Stetson, Tiffany Creamer and Kristin Lind picked up a victory over Webber International at the number 5 position, while Julie Bassett and Rachael Farrell earned a 2-0 win at the number 2 spot against Jacksonville.
Overall it was another outstanding outing by the sand volleyball team whose hard off season work is starting to pay off big early this season. The Hatters now sit at the top spot in the Atlantic Sun Standings and are 5-0 overall. Stetson is the only undefeated team in the A-Sun and have much promise to have a solid run through the rest of the season.
If the team can keep winning games early on they will most definitely have a shot of taking the A-Sun trophy home to DeLand, where it most definitely belongs.