Beach Volleyball Wins Tourney

UCA’s beach volleyball team (7-1) won the second tournament of its inaugural season 3-1 during the University of Louisiana Monroe’s Bayou Beach Bash on March 31 and April 1 in Monroe, Louisiana.

The team won both games against Houston Baptist University (8-7) and ULM (9-8) on March 31, winning 4-1 against Houston Baptist and 3-2 against ULM.

During the first game, the Huskies only won one match against sophomore Kristine Hjembo and junior Stephanie Pollnow by sweeping the first two sets 21-18 and 21-19.

Later that day, the Beach Bears continued their winning streak against ULM, and only allowed the Warhawks to win two matches of the game. According to the UCA Sports website, after the Beach Bears broke ULM’s lead and tied the game, “[Sophomores Megan] Nash and [Haley] Tippett would then wrap up the win for the Bears at in the No. 1 match, taking down [ULM’s] Hadley Swartz and Kori Simpson 21-17, 21-17.”

April 1 ended with mixed results. Although the Beach Bears left winning the overall tournament, they also left with their first loss against Texas Christian University (13-7).

UCA started the day in the lead by taking Texas A&M – Corpus Christi in a 5-0 sweep. According to the UCA Sports website, “[Freshman] Abbie Harry and [senior Heather]Schnars got things going in the exhibition match, taking down [A&M’s] Mary Katarzynski and Madeline Doud 21-14, 21-17 before [freshman]Kellen Dunn and [junior]MC Rogers scored the match’s rst point with a 21-18, 21-10 win over [A&M’s] Kelsee Felux and Claire Carsten in the No. 4 match.”

This set the tone for the game, and the Beach Bears continued to win all their matches against Texas A&M.

“I think the strongest aspect of our team is that other teams overlook us since we’re a first-year team,” Rogers said. “Another strength is the depth of our team. We have great players on teams one through six.”

Despite the Beach Bears facing their first defeat of the season against TCU by 4-1, UCA forced three sets in two matches, though matches normally consist of only two sets.

“I think our team did great this weekend,” Rogers said. “My partner, Kellen, and I won two close games that went to three sets, and a lot of the other pairs did really well against challenging opposition.”

Graduate student Kate Elman and senior Heather Schnars gave UCA its only score for the game against TCU’s Jillian Bergeson and Shane Peters. Elman and Schnars won the sets 21-15 and 21-14.

“I would say our weakest area is our lack of experience,” Rogers said. “It’s my rst year playing beach volleyball on a team, as with a lot of other players, so many of us are still learning the rules and strategies because they’re quite different from indoor volleyball.”

The team will play two of this weekend’s teams again during HBU’s Beach Invitation — including Houston Baptist University, Tulane University and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi — on April 7 and 8 in Houston, Texas.

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