Club Sports News

Men's indoor, women's beach players unite in co-ed tourney

October 31, 2020  |  Lynchburg, Va. 

Flames junior Tommy Speelman picks up his partner, freshman Lizzy Armstrong, during the open division final match. test test test test
Flames junior Tommy Speelman picks up his partner, freshman Lizzy Armstrong, during the open division final match.

A dozen or more players from Liberty University's men's indoor volleyball team paired up with members of the Lady Flames' women's beach volleyball team to compete in Saturday's Beach Co-ed Halloween Tournament.

Between the open competition on the four Liberty Mountain Intramural Complex courts and AA and A brackets played on the four East Campus courts next to the Liberty field hockey and lacrosse fields, the final beach event of the fall semester attracted a total of 33 teams made up mostly of Liberty students, with a few members of Head Coach Kaleb VanDePerre's VA Sand club team mixed in.

"It was good to see them mix it up with the indoor and the beach girls," VanDePerre said.

Speelman sets up Armstrong during their final victory

In the open division, Flames junior Tommy Speelman, a setter on the men's indoor team, joined beach volleyball freshman Lizzy Armstrong to finish 4-0 in pool play before sweeping their semifinal match and overcoming VanDePerre and VA Sand player Erin Johnson, 18-21, 21-18, 15-12, in the final.

"We just started playing a lot better and came back strong," said Speelman, who closed out the match with an emphatic spike that landed inside the baseline. "This was our first time ever playing together, but we had beaten them earlier in the day (in pool play) and we just picked it up and knew what we had to do. It was a fun match. I'm glad we got to play."

VanDePerre and Johnson had overcome Liberty alumnus Zach Martyn and his VA Sand partner in the semifinals, but ran out of steam in the championship match.

"We came back in the second game and lost, and then in the third game we had a big lead and it was gone," VanDePerre said. ‘With the amount of energy I had left, I was not very confident that we were going to get points. I couldn't score."

Men's volleyball Head Coach Kaleb VanDePerre spikes.

In the AA bracket, Nathan Knickerbocker and Ina Aoelu teamed up to sweep Ethan VanDePerre and Kylee McGuirk, 21-18, 21-14 in the final, while Stephen Leong and Laina Marble ousted Quinten Lackey and Allison Reda in the A championship match.

Prizes were awarded to the winners and the teams with the best costumes, which most shed before competing in the tournament.

This weekend, the Flames and Lady Flames are planning to host four men's and four women's tandems from National Collegiate Sand Volleyball Association (NCSVA) Mid-Atlantic Conference member North Carolina State University in a scrimmage.

"They've been one of the main three teams in our conference, so it would be good to see our girls play another collegiate program," VanDePerre said.

Lady Flames Assistant Coach Jess Nelson watches alumni Zach Martyn and Gene DeJesus volley.

Sep 17, 7:00 PM - Lahaye Ice Center
Men's D1 Hockey
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Women's D2 Hockey
vs. Tryouts
Aug 23, 11:45 AM - LaHaye Ice Center

Men's D1 Hockey
vs. Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Sep 17, 7:00 PM - Lahaye Ice Center

Men's D1 Hockey
vs. NC State University
Sep 18, 10:00 PM - Lahaye Ice Center

Men's D1 Hockey
vs. Michigan-Dearborn
Oct 1, 7:00 PM - Lahaye Ice Center

Men's D1 Hockey
vs. Michigan-Dearborn
Oct 2, 11:59 PM - Lahaye Ice Center

Full Schedule

May 12
Men's Lacrosse
at MCLA Invitational vs BYU
L (7-10)

May 2
Men's Lacrosse
vs. ALC Championship vs Clemson
W (17-8)

May 1
Men's Lacrosse
vs. ALC PLayoffs vs NC State
W (14-8)

Apr 24
Men's Lacrosse
vs. Virginia Tech
W (11-8)

Apr 19
Men's D2 Hockey
at Nationals Semi - University of Mary
L (0-7)