Monday, April 28, 2008

4/28/2008

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4/28/2008 -ROCHESTER, N.Y. - The University of Delaware volleyball team capped off its spring season in style as the Hens took their show to the beach this weekend by participating in the Rochester Hot Shots Collegiate Beach Challenge on Saturday.

The invitational, which served as the first-ever indoor beach competition for college teams, saw a total of 21 pairings compete in the double-sand event. The squads hailed from five Universities spanning two different countries. Delaware was joined by New Hampshire, Binghamton, Albany, and the University of Montreal.

During the event, there were three pools of five teams and one pool of six for the first round of play. Delaware faired well on the afternoon as three Blue Hen duos advanced to the Gold Medal Bracket, while a fourth moved on to the Silver Round following pool play.

Freshmen Katie Dennehy and Jessica Chason led the Hens after posting a 3-1 record during the first round of action. With their performance, the two advanced to the Gold Medal Round as the second-place team from their bracket.

Junior Kelly Gibson and sophomore Stephanie Barry also finished third in their pool with a 2-2 mark as did freshmen Greta Gibboney and Paige Erickson. Both squads eventually joined Dennehy and Chason in the Gold Bracket during afternoon play.

In the single-elimination portion of the event, Chason and Dennehy squared off with Gibson and Barry in the first round. The two freshmen survived the tough match after downing their Delaware counterparts, 25-23. After Erickson and Gibboney suffered a first-round loss, Chason and Dennehy were the last remaining Delaware pair in the Gold Bracket.

One round later, the two faced one of the top pairs from Montreal, and although they held tough, they were eliminated with a 25-21 setback.

The final Delaware twosome of Molly Rand and Janeen McCormick, who were entered in the Silver Bracket following pool play, kept the Blue Hens in the tournament for most of the afternoon. During single-elimination, the duo defeated a New Hampshire squad, 27-25, and out-hustled a tough team from Binghamton, 25-20, in the quarterfinals.

Their championship run was halted in the semifinals, however, as Rand and McCormick could not duplicate their quarterfinal victory as they fell to another Bearcat team, 25-21.

"Traveling to Rochester was a terrific way to end our spring training," said head coach Bonnie Kenny. "It was a very fun and enjoyable day. As the day progressed, everyone improved on the sand, and there were some very good, long, intense rallies in the bracket play matches."

The event was one of six sand competitions this spring organized by indoor teams and conferences to experiment with beach volleyball. The sport is petitioning the Committee on Women's Athletics this summer to be added to the NCAA's official list of emerging sports for women.

courtesy Delaware athletics

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