Two beach volleyball squads place third at NCSVA nationals
|Liberty's Ethan Chase spikes off a set from Kaleb VanDePerre (right) during Saturday's tournament.|
Playing in Southern California, a hotbed for beach volleyball, Liberty University’s men’s and women’s pairs rose to the level of the competition for Saturday’s National Collegiate Sand Volleyball Association (NCSVA) national championships in Santa Monica, Calif., with two squads reaching the semifinals.
The Flames’ men’s tandem of graduate students Ethan Chase and Kaleb VanDePerre and Lady Flames’ women’s duo of rising juniors Morgan Horne and Jules Johnson both placed third out of eight teams after advancing out of their pools and reaching the semifinals of single-elimination match play.
Horne and Johnson went 1-2 in pool play before finding redemption, ousting a team from Carson-Newman (Tenn.) that they had just lost to, 28-23. They were then eliminated in the semifinals, 28-18, by Elise Zappia and Madie Smith, the eventual champions from the nearby University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), and finished 2-3 overall. Liberty tied for third with a combination team from UCLA and Cal-State Northridge that it had swept in the day’s first match.
Chase and VanDePerre went 1-1-1 in pool play, defeating a team from the New Jersey Institute of Technology before being swept by a pair from UCLA and splitting two games against a tandem from Loyola Marymount, also located in Los Angeles. Then in the playoffs, Liberty won its first match against a duo off Virginia Tech’s indoor team, 28-23, before being eliminated in the semifinals by a second UCLA team, 28-21.