April 12, 2008
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The Auburn volleyball team capped of its spring training Saturday as it competed in the inaugural SEC Coaches Beach Volleyball Championship. The event was the first-ever beach volleyball tournament held by members of a NCAA Division I conference.
Georgia won the overall title as it takes home the Commissioner's Cup. The Bulldog team of Britta Beuthe and Erika Clark also won the Gold Division title. LSU's Kyna Washington and Lauren DeGirolamo won the Silver Division while Tennessee's Lauren Laflamme and Milan Clarke won the Bronze Division.
Teams also played an All-Terrain Division with matches on both grass and sand. South Carolina's Petra Lorenzi and Megan Laughlin took home the All-Terrain title.
The Auburn team of Sara Shanks and Milena Bukinac represented the Tigers in the Gold Division, the Roy Kramer Pool.
Shanks and Bukinac lost to Florida's Elyse Cusak and Kristy Jaeckel, 21-11, 21-13, in their first match and to Georgia's Beuthe and Clark, 21-18, 21-10, in their second match.
Mississippi State's Eva Kriegel and Dorey Gray defeated Shanks and Bukinac, 21-9, 21-16, in the third match. Shanks and Bukinac earned a tie in their final pool match against Arkansas' Jessica Dorrell and Kelli Cole, 17-21, 21-15, before falling 21-12 to Ole Miss' Rachel Kieckhaefer and Emily Jones in the playoffs.
In the Harvey Schiller pool the team of Jessica Glover and Nicki Gerig represented Auburn, taking four losses and a tie.
Glover and Gerig lost to Georgia's Carla Tietz and Kelsey Burkett, 21-15, 21-10, in their first match before falling to South Carolina's Sarah Cline and Meredith Moorhead, 21-13, 21-17, in their second match.
Glover and Gerig lost their third match to Alabama's Amy Pauly and Calli Johnson, 21-14, 23-21, before bouncing back for a tie in their final match against Laflamme and Clarke, 9-21, 21-18.
In the playoffs, Glover and Gerig fell to Mississippi State's Jennifer Hauskey, Ioana Demian and Cristina Jucan, 21-12.
Also playing in the Harvey Schiller pool was the team of Lauren Mellor, Emily Knuth and Alyssa Davis. Despite going 0-4 in pool play, the team bounced back in the playoffs to earn Auburn's lone win of the day.
The trio started out by falling to South Carolina's Ivana Kujundzic and Dinelia Concepcion, 21-12, 21-9. The team then lost to eventual Silver Division champion DeGirolamo and Washington of LSU, 21-15, 21-10.
Mellor, Knuth and Davis then lost to Florida's Erin Fleming and Callie Rivers, 21-11, 21-11, before falling to Georgia's Lindsay Gehan and Katie Winschel, 21-15, 21-15, in their final pool play match.
The team rebounded for a win in the playoffs, defeating LSU's Tania Schatow and Michele Williams, 21-9, but fell to UT's Laflamme and Clarke, 21-9, in the second round.
Auburn's final team of Briana Johnson, Kaitlin Simon and newcomer Rebecca Simon competed in the Bernie Moore Pool, playing a 0-3-1 record.
The team fell to Alabama's Alyssa Meuth, Elizabeth Salstrand and Jennifer Weber, 21-8, 21-12, in the first match and 21-10, 21-14, to South Carolina's Lorenzi and Laughlin in the second match.
Georgia's Simone May, Sam Lum and Anjelica Partridge proved tough in a 21-4, 21-7, loss in the third match, but the trio turned around for a 21-17, 16-21 tie against Ole Miss' Christine Marchinski, Regina Thomas and Miranda Kitts in the final pool play match.
The playoffs turned out to be a repeat of the final match, but Ole Miss was able to keep the momentum going from the last game as it won 21-14.
The Tigers are under the direction of first-year head coach Wade Benson. Auburn opens its 2008 season August 29-30 with the War Eagle Invitational in Auburn.