GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Tusculum University's beach volleyball team will play seven matches on four days throughout Florida this week. The opponents are bookended by a Division I team and a NJCAA squad, with five Division II foes between the two.
RECAPPING THE WEEK
The Black and Orange split their time at the 2nd Annual Principia Bash, going 2-2 over the two-day event.
The No. 3 flight of Stephanie Cho and Haley Davis finished 3-1 at the tournament to lead the Pioneers. The pairs of Maddie Bass/Emily Lawless and Danika Chaney/Britney Shawel flipped between the fourth and fifth slots, but both earned three wins to one loss. Melissa Mazur/Emma Johnson and Mabry Ward/Arizona Webb each collected a 2-2 mark to begin the year at the No. 1 and No. 2 pairs, respectively.
Defending AVCA Small College Beach Champion Tampa (5-3) will host the Pioneers and UNC Wilmington (3-2) on Tuesday in a tri-match. Each team has a packed weekend of action with Tampa scheduled to play at the Eckerd tournament and UNC Wilmington beginning a Florida swing on its own. The hosting Spartans have a dominant No. 4 slot of Tatiana Gutierrez and Erica Haslag, who have a 7-1 record thus far in the season. Meanwhile, the Seahawks have gotten a trio of victories from four pairs, including a 3-2 mark by the top two flights. Last season, Tusculum was swept by both teams, 3-0 and 5-0, respectively.
Eckerd (0-0) is kicking off their 2020 campaign this afternoon as the host of the Battle on the Bay. Fernanda Reis led the Tritons last year with a 12-12 record amongst four partnerships. The Pioneers downed Eckerd 4-1 on the last day of the season in 2019.
Saint Leo (5-9) has a busy weekend at the College of Charleston Creekside Beach Classic before hosting the Pioneers and Palm Beach Atlantic (5-0) in a tri-match. Meanwhile, the Sailfish will also be participating at the Eckerd battle. Nina Vattovaz leads the Lions with an 8-6 record in the No. 1 pair, split between two partners. Ally Bottenfield/Coleen Sieng are a perfect 5-0 after spending time at both the first and second flight.
Florida Southern (3-1) are coming off a sixth-place finish at the AVCA championship in 2019 and an AVCA Top Flight award for the No. 4 pairing of Haley Goodrich and Celia Greco, both returning for their sophomore seasons. The Mocs are taking part in the Eckerd meet this weekend as their first non-home contests of the season.
Lake-Sumter (1-5) will open March in the tri-match hosted by Florida Southern against Tusculum. The Lakehawks started the program in 2020, earning its first-ever win against Bryant & Stratton (Wisc.) in February. The junior college won 4-1 over the Bobcats after forfeiting the fifth flight. The No. 1 pair of Hailey Franklin and Katie Carpenter were the most dominant, taking the win 21-11, 21-5.