Playing their final match of the 2014 season, the Pacific sand volleyball team suffered a tough 3-2 loss to No. 6 Saint Mary's on Wednesday, April 23. The loss ended the Tigers season at 8-3 on the year while the Gaels improved to 11-2.
Early on the Tigers appeared primed for an upset of the Gaels at home on a windy Wednesday afternoon as Pacific jumped out front with two quick overall points in the match. Bolstered by a forfeit at No. 5 due to an injury and illness, the Tigers claimed the first played match of the day at No. 3 when Mia Feiner and Gillian Howard rallied to take a three-set thriller. After falling in the first set, 21-19, the Tigers' No. 3 duo persevered to even the match at 1-1 as they withstood a big late rally by the team of Rachel Gillcrist and Mileva Popovic to take the second set in extra points. With the duo tied at 1-1, Feiner and Howard pushed their way to the win in the final set of the opening session as they won four of the final five points played to take the victory.
Up 2-0, the upset was not to be as th Tigers' fell at the top two spots of the day while a late rally at No. 4 came up just short for Anne-Sophie Bauer and Megan Birch. The duo fought back from down one set to force a third and decisive set where they would have their opportunities to win but came up empty in the end. The Gaels would take the match with a win at No. 1 when the team of Samantha Tinsley and Dalas Dodd, who will be playing in the AVCA Championships next week, came up with a sweep to earn the overall victory for the Gaels.
For the Tigers the loss was their first ever at their home facility as Pacific ropped to 9-1 at the Raney Courts in two seasons of action. Additionally, the Gaels swept the season series with the Tigers winning both matches on the year after having won, 4-1, in Moraga earlier in the season.
#6 Saint Mary's 3 - Pacific 2
Raney Courts - Stockton, Calif.
April 23, 2014
1) Tinsley/Dodd (SMC) def. Schulz/Elman (PAC) - 21-16, 21-15
2) Loos/Graven (SMC) def. Wilk/Whitson (PAC) - 21-19, 21-16
3) Howard/Feiner (PAC) def. Gillcrist/Popovic, Mileva (SMC) - 19-21, 23-22, 15-12
4) Salmons/Popovic, Milena (SMC) def. Bauer/Birch (PAC) - 21-15, 21-13, 15-10
5) Tagart/Diederich (PAC) win by Forfeit (21-0, 21-0) due to injury and illness