CONWAY, S.C. – Jacksonville University's beach volleyball program is peaking at just the right time. With a 3-2 victory over Coastal Carolina Saturday, the Dolphins have not only swept their first ASUN Conference series but have also clinched the fifth and final spot in the ASUN Tournament.
"What a day," said Director of Volleyball Julie Darty. "This was a huge team win over Coastal to secure a spot in the ASUN Championships. It was intense, gritty, competitive and so much fun. The team stepped it up a notch and really found their will to win."
Jacksonville's No. 3 pair of Natalie Wehner and Shelby Babowicz crowned the team's regular season finale in exciting fashion. Claiming victories in the fifth and second flights, JU was in need of just one more match to cement its postseason appearance.
Wehner and Babowicz delivered with a 15-13 win in their third set.
"I'm so proud of Natalie and Shelby for battling it out and securing the win for us. The 5, 2 and 3 spots put up the wins, but everyone gave it their all today and it was such a fun experience. I'm so proud of this group and am so happy we have another week together."
The ASUN Tournament is scheduled for April 22-23 and includes a double elimination bracket with a single elimination championship final. Stetson, the regular season champions, will serve as the host institution.
First round play begins with No. 5 Jacksonville taking on No. 4 North Florida next Saturday at Cooper Beach. The winner will go on to play the top-ranked Hatters while the losing side plays the loser of No. 3 Florida Gulf Coast/No. 2 Mercer.
1. Bishop, Tahleia/Savovic, Natasa def. Morgan Dees/Megan Widener (21-17, 22-20)
2. Mackenzie Swan/Cristina Finan def. Boothe, Sara/Davis, Katie (21-12, 21-17)
3. Shelby Babowicz/Natalie Wehner def. Ladewig, Shelby/Mierzwa, Mika (20-22, 22-20, 15-13)
4. Otto, Autumn/Djuric, Aleksandra def. Katie Krawczyk/Vanessa Richards (21-16, 21-17)
5. Hanna McMahon/Jizzyan Gesualdo def. Federico, Kate/Mandic, Iva (17-21, 21-15, 15-11)