This week’s VolleyMob Beach Pair of the Week played valiantly against the nation’s best top flight pairs. Sophomore Federica Frasca and junior Margherita Bianchin led No. 13 Florida International with a 3-1 record against the top four No. 1 pairs at the East Meets West Challenge in Manhattan Beach, California.
The Italian duo – Frasca hails from Rome, while Bianchin calls Treviso home – moved to 10-1 on the year on the No. 1 line with the effort.
After dropping their first match of the season to No. 2 USC, the pair rebounded with wins over No. 4 UCLA, No. 3 Hawaii and No. 1 Pepperdine.
- Fell to 21-19, 21-15 to Tina Graudina/Abril Bustamante (No. 2 USC) 21-19, 21-15
- Def. Nicole McNamara/Megan McNamara (No. 4 UCLA), 11-21, 21-16, 15-12
- Def. Laurel Weaver/Carly Kan (No. 3 Hawaii), 21-17, 21-13
- Def. Brook Bauer/Madalyn Roh (No. 1 Pepperdine), 21-13, 18-21, 17-15
Frasca, who was the MVP of the 2014 Italian U18 Beach Volleyball Championship, went 25-7 in 2017, playing one the No. 1 through 5 lines. She went 15-7 at the No. 1 position, including a 10-5 mark with Bianchin and a 5-2 effort with Katie Hogan.
Bianchin posted a 30-8 mark, including 10-5 at No. 1 with Frasca. She also managed a 10-3 mark at No. 5, going 9-3 with Taija Thomas, a 2-0 effort at No. 2, 5-0 at No. 3 and 3-0 at No. 4.
As a pairing, Biachin and Frasca are 30-6, including 21-6 on the No. 1 line.
FIU is now 6-5 on the season after close losses in all four of its matches at the East Meets West Challenge. The Panthers fell to No. 2 USC 4-1, and were edged 3-2 by No. 1 Pepperdine, No. 3 Hawaii and No. 4 UCLA. The team hits the road for Tavares, Florida, for the Stetson/Hichory Point Bash this weekend.