March 8, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The UAB sand volleyball team lost its season opener to Mercer, 3-2, on Saturday afternoon.
UAB is now 0-1 on the season, while Mercer improved to 1-0. The Blazers will play the Bears two more times this season.
“It’s a great way to start our season with having limited practice time because of weather conditions,” said head coach Bailey Coleman. “All of our girls stayed really positive. They all know now what to work on. I think we were all a little unsure about partners and everything. Now that we have a match under our belt we know what we can work on for next week. I’m excited to start practice again with some good weather.”
The Blazers earned a hard-fought win at the top position from the duo of Kiriana Hirini and Bethanie Thomas. The pair won the first set over Natalie Braun and Tori Penrod, 21-13, to take the early lead.
Mercer came back to win the second set, 23-21, but UAB put the match away in the third set with a 15-11 win. Thomas finished with 26 kills in the match.
UAB’s second win came from fifth-year seniors Alison Woods and Sam Serley. The duo won easily against Mercer’s Emily Rochefort and Zoe Becton, 21-16, 21-12. Serley had 16 kills and Woods picked up 32 digs in the match.
The tandem of Becca Howard and Lindsay Simmons opened with a 21-18 win in the first set, but Mercer’s Caroline Carlton and Demi-Shay Watchorn battled back to win the next two sets, 21-17, 15-7, to take the win.
Complete Match Results
No. 1 – Kiriana Hirini/Bethanie Thomas (UAB) def. Natalie Braun/Tori Penrod (Mercer) – 21-13, 21-23, 15-11
No. 2 – Emma Peel/Jamie Duffy (Mercer) def. Ally Slaughter/Sara Rishell (UAB) – 21-15, 21-15
No. 3 – Alison Woods/Sam Serley (UAB) def. Emily Rochefort/Zoe Becton (Mercer) – 21-16, 21-12
No. 4 – Erin Brett/Hannah Sorenson (Mercer) def. Rachel Fairbanks/Amber Treace (UAB) – 21-15, 21-9
No. 5 – Carolina Carlton/Demi-Shay Watchorn (Mercer) def. Becca Howard/Lindsay Simmons (UAB) – 18-21, 21-17, 15-7