Beach volleyball’s season comes to an end in ASUN semifinals

Riley Platt, Sports Editor

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The University of North Florida (UNF) beach volleyball team advanced to the ASUN semifinals but came short of the championship, falling to Stetson University on Monday.

Last year’s championship final also came down to these two teams, but the Stetson Hatters got their revenge this time around. The difference was that this year’s matchup took place in a semifinal showdown rather than the championship match.

Going into the match, the Ospreys had their work cut out for them. The top-seeded Hatters had taken all three of the previous matches throughout the regular season, winning by a combined score of 12-3. UNF was going to need one of their best performances of the year to get past this familiar foe.

That performance wasn’t on tap Monday, though, as Stetson – both figuratively and literally – came out swinging.

Senior Chantel McMillan came through for the Ospreys, as she and partner Hayden Woodridge picked up UNF’s only set win on Monday. (Riley Platt)

The Hatters dominated, taking nearly every set from the Ospreys. UNF’s sole bright spot came from Chantel McMillan and Hayden Woodridge, who won their second set by a score of 21-15. Other than this, it was all Stetson, who pulled off a clean 3-0 sweep to advance to the championship final.

Coming short of the championship is nothing for the Ospreys to hang their heads on. Despite the exit, plenty of major milestones were met throughout the season. The squad won a program-record 25 wins this season, with Callie Workman making a record of her own, becoming the winningest individual player in the program’s history.

Stetson clearly took last year’s loss to heart, using it as motivation to become one of the top-ranked teams in the nation. Following their defeat of UNF, they were far from done in terms of rolling through teams. UNC-Wilmington was unlucky enough to face the Hatters in the championship final, also losing 3-0.

The Hatters still have work to do, though, as they now qualify for the upcoming NCAA Championship in Gulf Shores, Ala. Teams such as Southern California and Texas Christian look to be favorites to become national champions, but Stetson might just be able to make some noise and put on a good showing for the ASUN.

The season may be over, but this didn’t stop the Ospreys from reaching new heights. A successful inaugural campaign for head coach Doug Wright appears to be a sign of good things to come for the program in the near future.


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