Clarksville, TN – After dropping its first match of the day, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) beach volleyball team rallied to sweep Eastern Illinois, 5-0, and claim its first-ever Regular Season Ohio Valley Conference Beach Volleyball Championship, Saturday, at the OVC Weekend at APSU at the Govs Beach Volleyball Complex.
Austin Peay (18-10, 6-2 OVC) found itself down 2-0 in the first match of the day after Morehead State (9-9, 3-5 OVC) won the No. 4 and No. 5 pairings. The Governors were able to pick up a win in the extension match with Jaida Clark and Erin Eisenhart beating Kinsey McAfee and Irene Wogenstahl in two sets.
However, Morehead State needed just one more point to clinch the match and the tandem of Olivia Lohmeier and Allison Whitten knocked off Marlayna Bullington and Kelsey Mead in the No. 1 pairing to score the match-clinching point for the Eagles.
With the match decided, Brooke Moore and Mikayla Powell posted a dominant two-set win in the No. 2 pairing, holding Bella Williams and Olivia Montelisciani to 16 points in the first set and just eight points in the second set.
APSU jumped out to an early lead against Eastern Illinois (0-13, 0-8) in the second match of the day with commanding wins in the No. 4 and No. 5 pairings. Waite and Buggs scored the first point in the No. 4 pairing, holding the Panthers to five points in the first set and 10 points in the second.
Waite finished the regular season with 15 total wins, which is the best single-season mark in her career and is the sixth-best single-season total in program history.
Needing just one more win to clinch the match and regular season OVC title, McInnis and Seyring put together a quick two-set win – holding EIU to just eight points in the first set – to lock up the championship. The win also marked the 16th of the season for McInnis, which is the fifth-best single-season mark in program history, and the 14th for Seyring, which is tied for the seventh-best mark by a Governor.
With two matches left on the court, Bullington and Mead dispatched the Panthers in the No. 1 pairing and became the first duo in program history to win 20 matches in a season, while also extending their program record for the most wins in a single season.
In the final match on the sand, Moore and Powell closed out the regular season with a two-set win, claiming the second set 26-24, to pick up their 19th win of the season, which also surpassed the previous single-season wins record of 18 – which was held by Jenna Panning (2019) and Haley Turner (2019).
With the regular season in the books, Austin Peay State University turns its attention towards the OVC Beach Volleyball Championship, April 28th-30th, hosted by Morehead State at the Fazoli’s Breadstick Beach in Morehead, Kentucky. With Austin Peay State University and UT Martin (14-8, 6-2 OVC) sharing the OVC Regular Season Championship, the Skyhawks hold the tiebreaker over the Governors for the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.
The OVC has also announced that it has received automatic qualification for the 2022 NCAA National Collegiate Women’s Beach Volleyball Championship. The winner of the OVC Beach Volleyball Tournament will qualify for the NCAA Tournament, which has been expanded to 16 teams this season. The tournament will be held May 6th-8th at the Gulf Beach Place in Gulf Shores, Alabama. The selections will be on April 30th at a to be determined time.
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