Sand Volleyball Completes Tough Day At FSU Tournament

Rachel Fairbanks team with Sara Rishell for a win on Saturday.

April 20, 2013

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – UAB’s sand volleyball team fought hard in a 3-2 heartbreaking loss to Georgia State, before falling to a strong Florida State team, 5-0, on Saturday at the FSU Tournament.

The Blazers, who have now lost six duals in 3-2 fashion this season, move to 10-8 overall on the year.

“Give Florida State credit – they are one of the best teams in the country, and we really saw that today,” head coach Hal Messersmith said. “It is frustrating to lose another 3-2 match to Georgia State because we have had so many close contests all season.”

In the first match of the day, the Blazers reeled off two wins in the fourth and fifth flights as Becca Howard and Sam Skinner battled for a 16-21, 21-14, 15-7 win at No. 4, before Rachel Fairbanks and Sara Rishell rolled to a 21-16, 25-23 victory at the fifth spot.

Unfortunately, that would be the final two wins for UAB as Georgia State took the remaining three courts. Milani Pickering and Katelyn Rawls defeated Blazers Alison Woods and Sam Serley, 15-21, 21-15, 15-12 at the third spot, while Jansen Button and Sara Olivova took a 21-15, 21-19 triumph over UAB’s Ally Slaughter and Kirsten Gallagher at the second court.

GSU then ended the day with Lane Carico and Katie Madewell’s 21-10, 21-11 win against Blazers Kiriana Hirini and Bethanie Thomas at the first court.



Against the Seminoles, UAB fell in two sets at four of the five positions. The Blazers fought hard in the fourth flight before Fairbanks and Rishell took an 18-21, 21-18, 15-11 loss as the Blazers fell, 5-0.

UAB waits to see if it will be included in the field for the 2013 AVCA Nationals, which will take place on May 3-5 in Gulf Shores, Ala.

Georgia State 3, UAB 2
Court 1 – Lane Carico/Katie Madewell (GSU) def. Kiriana Hirini/Bethanie Thomas (UAB) – 21-10, 21-11
Court 2 – Jansen Button/Sara Olivova (GSU) def. Ally Slaughter/Kirsten Gallagher (UAB) – 21-15, 21-19
Court 3 – Milani Pickering/Katelyn Rawls (GSU) def. Alison Woods/Sam Serley (UAB) – 15-21, 21-15, 15-12
Court 4 – Rachel Fairbanks/Sara Rishell (UAB) def. Molly Smestad/Alexis Elmurr (GSU) – 21-16, 25-23
Court 5 – Becca Howard/Sam Skinner (UAB) def. Nikki Senopoulous/Kaitlynn Kavanaugh (GSU) – 16-21, 21-14, 15-7

Florida State 5, UAB 0
Court 1 – Jace Pardon/Sarah Wickstrom (FSU) def. Kiriana Hirini/Bethanie Thomas (UAB) – 26-24, 21-14
Court 2 – Julie Brown/Melanie Pavels (FSU) def. Ally Slaughter/Kirsten Gallagher (UAB) – 21-17, 21-15
Court 3 – Aurora Davis/Katherine Plessy (FSU) def. Alison Woods/Sam Serley (UAB) – 21-14, 21-14
Court 4 – Mallory Kiley/Fatma Yildirim (FSU) def. Rachel Fairbanks/Sara Rishell (UAB) – 18-21, 21-18, 15-11
Court 5 – Stephanie Pellitteri/Kristina Pellitteri (FSU) def. Becca Howard/Kate Morrell (UAB) – 21-9, 21-11