Beach Bears Wrap up Fight in the Fort Falling to Ranked Opponents

FORT WORTH, Texas – Competing against two top-15 opponents, the Missouri State beach volleyball team wrapped up the Fight in the Fort here Saturday, falling to FIU and Cal to move to 8-7 on the season. 

The Bears opened day two of the annual tournament with a 4-1 loss to No. 15 FIU before being swept by ninth-ranked Cal, 5-0.  

“We played three good teams this weekend,” said head coach Ashley Emery. “This tournament was a good opportunity for us to see the best of the best play and what it is going to take for us to compete at that level. It was definitely a fun environment to play in.” 

Manuela Niemeyer and MacKenzie Steele earned the Bears’ one victory of the day, playing in the fourth flight against the Panthers. The freshman pair defeated FIU’s Athina Dimitriadis and Anna Davis in come-from-behind fashion. After dropping the first set, 16-21, Niemeyer and Steel muscled out 21-12, 15-13 wins to earn the victory and move to 11-3 on the season.  

Against Cal, the Bears dropped a second hard-fought loss, ending the tournament with an 0-4 record.  

“We will keep working to clean up our skills and take what we learned to Arizona next weekend,” finished Emery. 

MSU will travel to Tuscon, Ariz., next weekend to compete in a tournament hosted by the University of Arizona. The Bears will play Colorada Mesa to open play on Friday, March 31, before taking on tournament host, Arizona. The Bears wrap up their weekend on Saturday, April 1, against UTEP and Santa Clara.  

No. 15 FIU 4, Missouri State 1 

1. Milica Vukobrat/Lucie Pokorna (FIU) def. Becca Bach/Tylar Garrett (MSU) 21-13, 21-14  

2. Giada Bianchi/Lisa Luini (FIU) def. Grayson Hall/Olivia Muriel (MSU) 21-8, 21-14  

3. Zuzanna Bielak/Roberta Ribeiro (FIU) def. Brooke Plessner/Sydney Sampson (MSU) 21-4, 21-12  

4. MacKenzie Steele/Manuela Niemeyer (MSU) def. Athina Dimitriadis/Anna Davis (FIU) 16-21, 21-12, 15-13  

5. Alice Pratesi/Emily Meyer (FIU) def. Riley Drew/Addison Crider (MSU) 21-13, 21-10  

Ext. Amanda Cleary/Claudia Wala (MSU) def. Emma Braticevic/Chloe Zacca (FIU) 21-19, 21-16 

No. 9 Cal 5, Missouri State 0 

1. Sierra Caffo/Liz Waters-Leiga (CAL) def. Becca Bach/Olivia Muriel (MSU) 21-10, 21-15  

2. Ainsley Radell/Ashley Delgado (CAL) def. Grayson Hall/Tylar Garrett (MSU) 21-7, 21-17  

3. Lexi McKeown/Natalie Martin (CAL) def. MacKenzie Steele/Manuela Niemeyer (MSU) 21-12, 21-13  

4. Brooke Buchner/Alex Young-Gomez (CAL) def. Riley Drew/Olivia Rattler (MSU) 21-11, 21-16 5. Ava Mann/Marilu Pally (CAL) def. Addison Crider/Madalyn Bass (MSU) 21-7, 21-8  

Ext. Maya Gessner/Portia Sherman (CAL) def. Halle Sullivan/Sydney Sampson (MSU) 21-14, 21-12 


This article is provided by Missouri State
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