For the fourth time in program history, and first since 2009, the Rice Owls volleyball team is NCAA Tournament bound after sweeping (25-21, 25-22, 26-24) FIU Sunday afternoon in the Conference USA Championships title match.
Florida Atlantic’s Massiel Matos earned Offensive Player of the Week and Setter of the Week went to Nya Steele of Charlotte, while FIU’s Abbie Hughes and Lina Bernier rounded out the week’s Conference USA honors.
Conference USA wrapped up its first week of volleyball conference play on Monday, handing out weekly awards to a pair of Indiana-based Lady Toppers and two juniors hailing from outside the United States.
Only twice in NCAA beach volleyball championship history has there been an upset where the seed difference was more than 1. The other: last year, where #4 Florida State beat #2 UCLA in the semi-finals of the elimination bracket. The other small handful of upsets have all been 1-seed differences.
The top four seeds in the championship advanced to Sunday’s semifinal round as No. 1 Florida State and No. 2 South Carolina each topped their groups and LSU and FIU earned runner-up spots.
Four teams emerged undefeated at the end of an exciting day at the Rally Volleyball Courts at LakePoint Sporting Community, site of the CCSA Beach Volleyball Championships: FIU, Florida State, LSU and South Carolina.
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The bottom half of FIU’s lineup, including 4s Lina Bernier (above) and Katie Hogan, came up big in the semi-finals as they have all season.
Florida State beach volleyball’s Macy Jerger was named the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA) Scholar Athlete of the Year on…