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APSU takes down UT Martin, wins first-ever OVC Beach Volleyball Championship

Austin Peay State University - APSUMartin, 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.

Ohio Valley Conference Beach Volleyball Champions, Austin Peay State University. (APSU Sports Information)
Ohio Valley Conference Beach Volleyball Champions, Austin Peay State University. (APSU Sports Information)

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 [1] and Erin Eisenhart [2] 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 [3] and Claire Darland [4] 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 [5] and Tegan Seyring [6] 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 [7] and Brooke Moore [8] had won the first set in the No. 2 pairing and led, 7-2, in the second set, which was left unfinished. Marlayna Bullington [9] and Aysha Hood’s [10] 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

No. 1:  Lucy Kaufman/Hannah Phillips (UTM) vs. Marlayna Bullington [9]/Aysha Hood [10] (APSU) , 21-18, 15-13 unfinished

No. 2: Jenna Panning [7]/Brooke Moore [8] (APSU)  vs. Kayla Carrell/Karen Scanlon (UTM) 21-14, 7-2 unfinished

No. 3: Kelsey Mead [5]/Tegan Seyring [6] (APSU)  def. Haeleigh Paulino/Logan Wallick (UTM)  21-19, 22-20

No. 4: Caroline Waite [1]/Erin Eisenhart [2] (APSU)  def. Addison Conley/Jessica Reynolds (UTM), 21-18, 21-13

No. 5: MiMi Arrington [3]/Claire Darland [4] (APSU) def.  Baillie Kearns/Kambree Lucas (UTM) , 21-19, 18-21, 15-9


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

Kelsey Mead [5] & Tegan Seyring [6], Austin Peay

Jenna Panning [7] & Brooke Moore [8], Austin Peay (MVP)