Lady Flames duo wins AA division at Virginia Beach tourney
July 7, 2018 | Virginia Beach, Va.
Strong competition and unusually windy conditions challenged Liberty University's three men's and three women's beach volleyball duos at Saturday's second "Big Money" tournament in Virginia Beach, which experienced early effects of Hurricane Chris.
"It was 70 degrees with a non-stop, 25-mph wind the whole day, which was a huge adjustment for everyone to play in," Flames Head Coach Kaleb VanDePerre said. "It was so nice to get a break from the 90-degree heat, but we couldn't put up our tent because it was so windy. It was unreal. It felt like we were playing in a sandstorm for half of the day. It was awesome to see how easily our players could adjust and deal with the frustration."
Rising junior Olivia Jensen and rising sophomore Alyssa Register, who will represent the Lady Flames at the National Collegiate Sand Volleyball Association (NCSVA) National Championships set for Aug. 4 in Huntington Beach, Calif., combined for a first-place finish in the women's AA division while rising senior David Muller and graduate Caleb Pitcher teamed for a men's AA runner-up showing.
Rising seniors Kaden Knepper and Gene Dejesus, who already clinched the men's team's nationals bid, battled to a fifth-place finish in the men's Open division.
"It was a smaller field than last month's tournament in Wilmington (N.C.), but our top guys played up in the Open division so it was a lot tougher," VanDePerre said.
Joel Slaughter and Zach Martyn also took fifth in the men's AA division.
Recent graduate Kayle Lewis and rising junior Amanda Lyons joined forces to place third in the women's AA division and rising seniors Heather Podell and Rylie Rice came in third in the women's A bracket.
Next up, Liberty will host two days of beach volleyball tournament action in the Virginia Commonwealth Games, with two divisions of men's and women's play on July 28 and a youth tournament on July 29, over Main Games Weekend.