ATLANTA, Ga. -- ULM (5-5) split its dual matches in the Georgia State Sand Invitational Saturday, falling first to the host Panthers, 4-1 then edging No. 9 Tulane by the same score.
Georgia State (6-7) picked up the first two points in the fourth and fifth flights to open play Thursday.
The Warhawks were able to regroup later in the afternoon and handled ninth-ranked Tulane (7-4), 4-1.
Michelle McNamee and Amy Grabiec battled at the second position. After taking the first set, 21-13, the Warhawk tandem fell 21-16 in the second set. They edged the Green Wave’s Milica Jovic and Courtney Liddle 15-10 in the final set.
Sukach and Markova quickly bounced back at the top flight, winning 21-8, 21-15 at the top position over Sophie Asprey and Cori Martone.
“Our team bounced back after a 4-1 loss to Georgia State to beat our first nationally ranked opponent—Tulane--thanks to some focused performances from [Ocana, Parks, McNamee, and Grabiec],” head sand volleyball coach David Fischer said.
The day wrapped up with the ULM, Tulane, Georgia State and Florida State splitting into two brackets. The gold bracket featured each teams’ top two flights and opened play Saturday evening. ULM drew No. 3 Florida State’s top two pairs and won both contests.
Grabiec and McNamee won over the Seminoles’ top tandem by forfeit because one of FSU’s players was injured in the opening set and was unable to continue. Sukach and Markova edged FSU’s number two pair, 21-16, 21-19.
“I'm looking forward to our players realizing why we train as hard as we do. Playing 3-4 matches in a day tests anyone's conditioning,” Fischer said.
Gold bracket play continues tomorrow. Silver bracket play, featuring the third through fifth teams from each squad, begins at 8 a.m.
MATCH ONE – Georgia State 4, ULM 1
1. Lane Carico/Katie Madewell (GSU) def. Zuzana Markova/Tetiana Sukach (ULM), 21-17, 21-15
2. Jansen Button/Sara Olivova (GSU) def. Michelle McNamee/Amy Grabiec (ULM), 21-18, 21-16
3. Marcela Araya/Maria Garcia (ULM) def. Alexis Elmurr/Molly Smestad (GSU), 24-22, 21-13
4. Milani Pickering/Katelyn Rawls (GSU) def. Blanca Ocana/Kylie Parks (ULM), 24-22, 21-17
5. Alexis Townsend/Karlee Kavanaugh (GSU) def. Katie Harrington/Iren Marinova (ULM), 21-16, 21-15
MATCH TWO – ULM 4, No. 9 Tulane 1
1. Zuzana Markova/Tetiana Sukach (ULM) def. Sophie Asprey/Cori Martone (TUL) 21-8, 21-15
2. Michelle McNamee/Amy Grabiec (ULM) def. Milica Jovic/Courtney Liddle (TUL), 21-13, 16-21, 15-10
3. Marcela Araya/Maria Garcia (ULM) def. Anna Wruck/Grace Weaver (TUL), 21-18, 21-18
4. Blanca Ocana/Kylie Parks (ULM) def. Azarri Badawi/Jackie Wegner (TUL), 21-14, 21-15
5. Mackenzie Moore/Olivia Utt (TUL) def. Katie Harrington/Alannah Cullum (ULM) 21-18, 21-9
OPEN PAIRS TOURNAMENT PLAY – GOLD BRACKET
*-Grabiec and McNamee won by forfeit due to an injury. At the time of the injury, FSU had a 3-2 lead in the opening set.