Men’s beach volleyball team third at AVCA Fall Collegiate Championships
After being swept by eventual champion Westcliff (Calif.) University in Sunday’s semifinals, 5-0, Liberty University’s men’s beach volleyball team defeated Indiana Tech in the consolation match, 4-1, to finish third out of four teams at the inaugural American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Fall Collegiate Beach Championships, played Saturday and Sunday at John Hunt Park in Huntsville, Ala.
In pool play, Liberty was shut out by Webber (Fla.) International, 5-0, before edging Indiana Tech, 3-2, and taking a match from Westcliff in a 4-1 setback.
“Overall, I thought we played pretty well,” Flames Head Coach Kaleb VanDePerre said. “Webber and Westcliff had so much age and experience on us, but each game you could see our guys putting more together. From the first event of the year to now, the improvement was unreal. Seeing how many matches we won in three after losing the first set … that resolve and mental toughness training, finding ways to win in adversity is so beneficial, especially for a young group.”
The Flames’ No. 5 duo of senior Chase Keith and freshman Jayden Rice finished 3-2 for the weekend, including winning the lone match against Westcliff while playing up at No. 4. Junior Mason Ellenberger and freshman Zach Lamoureux went 2-3 for the tournament playing at the No. 2 spot, beating Indiana Tech’s pair of Alex Rosenow and Ben Rosenow in pool play and Peter Desmoulin and Ryan Griffle in the playoffs. Liberty’s top tandem of freshmen Josh Culpepper and Colton Fitzgerald split their two matches against Indiana Tech’s Joseph Hermes and Daynte Stewart, both three-setters.
Complete results are available online.
“Overall, it was awesome,” VanDePerre said. “For the younger guys, we got to see what the top level looks like and what we need to do better. Getting to compete with the best teams in the nation in the first time that event has ever been held and representing Liberty there was huge. We can use it to sharpen our indoor team and also be ready to compete for another championship next year in the sand. Seeing the guys pray with other teams before matches and playing alongside the top NCAA (women’s) pairs in the United States was phenomenal. Big shout out to the AVCA, Beach Volleyball Consulting, and the city of Huntsville for putting on a great national championship.”
Many of the Flames’ same players will compete indoor this Saturday when Liberty hosts an Eastern Collegiate Volleyball Association (ECVA) tournament at the LaHaye Multipurpose Center.
Saturday’s Pool Play Results
Webber International 5, Liberty 0
- Carson Barnes/Peyten Young (W) d. Josh Culpepper/Colton Fitzgerald, 21-10, 21-10
- Jackson Arnold/Aiden Keeter (W) d. Mason Ellenberger/Zach Lamoureux, 21-4, 21-18
- Carlos Jimenez/Gunter Perea (W) d. Brannon Anderson/Matthew Marcinko, 21-3, 21-4
- Wesley Blazek/Joao Vitor Lima (W) d. Gabe Dymmel/Noah Marine, 21-10, 21-11
- Kajus Mazuronis/Samuel Pearish (W) d. Chase Keith/Jayden Rice, 21-15, 21-7
Liberty 3, Indiana Tech 2
- Joseph Hermes/Daynte Stewart (IT) d. Culpepper/Fitzgerald, 19-21, 21-18, 15-13
- Ellenberger/Lamoureux (L) d. Alex Rosenow/Ben Rosenow, 21-12, 23-21
- Peter Demoulin/Ryan Griffle (IT) d. Anderson/Marcinko, 22-20, 21-19
- Dymmel/Marine (L) d. Nolan Bosley/Dylan Poole, 21-17, 21-18
- Keith/Rice (L) d. Jacob Shellman/Nick Shellman, 21-10, 21-19
Westcliff 4, Liberty 1
- Djordje Klasnic/Mohommad Ilias Rhouni Lazaar (W) d. Culpepper/Fitzgerald, 21-17, 21-13
- Dane Johnson/Jacob Titus (W) d. Ellenberger/Lamoureux, 21-12, 21-6
- Andy Jaszczynski/Gabriel Pizza (W) d. Anderson/Marcinko, 21-14, 21-14
- Keith/Rice (L) d. John Rzepniewski/Aidan Wahl, 15-21, 21-18, 15-13
- Bhrycen Asuncion/Ghie Lubrica (W) d. Zach Bell/Jackson Stough, 21-9, 21-16
Sunday’s Playoff Results
Westcliff 5, Liberty 0
- 1. Klasnic/Ilias Rhouni Lazaar (W) d. Culpepper/Fitzgerald, 21-8, 21-16
- Johnson/Titus (W) d. Ellenberger/Lamoureux, 21-13, 21-13
- Jaszczynski/Pizza (W) d. Anderson/Marcinko, 21-10, 21-17
- Trevor “TJ” Meyer/John Rzepniewski (W) d. Dymmel/Marine, 21-17, 21-9
- Asuncion/Lubrica (W) d. Keith/Rice 21-15, 21-19
Liberty 4, Indiana Tech 1
- Culpepper/Fitzgerald (L) d. Hermes/Stewart, 17-21, 21-17, 15-13
- Ellenberger/Lamoureux (L) d. Demoulin/Griffle, 21-13, 21-18
- Anderson/Marcinko (L) d. Noah Bosley/Dylan Poore, 21-17, 21-10
- A. Rosenow/B. Rosenow (IT) d. Dymmel/Marine, 21-8, 22-24, 15-13
- Keith/Rice (L) d. J. Shellman/N. Shellman, 16-21, 22-20, 16-14
Video edited by Micah Adams/Club Sports Video & Media Assistant