Martin, TN – Austin Peay State University beach volleyball won the first-ever Ohio Valley Conference Beach Volleyball Championship, sweeping UT Martin, 3-0, in the title match, Saturday, at the Skyhawk Beach Volleyball Complex.
The match was never in doubt for the fourth-seeded Governors, who jumped all over third-seeded UT Martin with wins in the No. 4 and No. 5 pairings. In the No. 4 pairing, Caroline Waite and Erin Eisenhart won the first set, 21-18, before picking up a workmanlike 21-13 win in the second set to grab the early lead for the Govs, 1-0.
In the No. 5 pairing, MiMi Arrington and Claire Darland jumped out front with a 21-19 win in the first set, but UT Martin was able to tie the match with a win in the second set. Arrington and Darland came back to win, 15-13, in the third set, giving APSU a 2-0 lead and putting them in prime position to clinch the title with three matches left to play.
Of the final three matches, the No. 3 pairing was the first to get underway and the duo of Kelsey Mead and Tegan Seyring wasted no time, winning the first set, 21-19. In the second set, Mead and Seyring handed UT Martin’s previously unbeaten First Team All-OVC pairing Haeleigh Paulino and Logan Wallick their first loss of the season, winning the set 22-20 to start the celebration for the Governors.
With the title already decided, First Team All-OVC pairing Jenna Panning and Brooke Moore had won the first set in the No. 2 pairing and led, 7-2, in the second set, which was left unfinished. Marlayna Bullington and Aysha Hood’s match was also left unfinished in the second set of the No. 1 pairing.
After the Govs on-court celebration wrapped up, the OVC named the duos of Panning/Moore and Seyring/Mead to the inaugural OVC Beach Volleyball All-Tournament Team. Moore and Panning were also named the tournament’s MVP pairing after going 3-0 and scoring two match-clinching points for the Governors.
Despite starting the 2021 campaign 1-6, Austin Peay went 9-2 in its final 11 matches this season. The Govs then went a perfect 4-0 in the postseason, beating Jacksonville State, top-seed Morehead State, and UT Martin twice to win the inaugural OVC Beach Volleyball crown.
No. 4 Austin Peay def. No. 3 UT Martin, 3-0
2021 OVC Beach Volleyball All-Tournament Team
Lena Kindermann & Erin Carmichael, Jacksonville State
Lucky Kauffman & Hannah Phillips, UT Martin
Haeleigh Paulino & Logan Wallick, UT Martin