MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Huntingdon beach volleyball team tasted victory for the first time with a 3-2 win over Principia College on Saturday during the final match of the Huntingdon College Beach Tournament.
The first-year Hawks used a three-set win by the No. 4 team of Lexie DeVuyst and Alex Hillman to clinch the victory. The two freshman fell 21-19 in the first set before rallying to win 22-20 and 15-11 in the final two sets.
"This weekend was an amazing experience for our girls. To be a part of the dedication of the courts, to host the only other two Division III beach volleyball programs and to get our first win in program history, those are things these girls will never forget," Huntingdon coach Latonia Brady said. "We all feel so honored to be on this journey in Huntingdon's first beach season."
The No. 2 team of Alexis Creasman and Bria Rochelle earned the first win in program history with a 21-13, 21-16 victory. The No. 1 team of Audrianna Hargitt and Shelby Young picked up the second win with a 21-14, 12-21, 15-7 victory.
In the first match of the day, Huntingdon (1-6) lost to Stevenson 5-0. Stevenson (8-5) and Principia (0-7) are the only other Division III beach volleyball programs.
"Hosting Stevenson and Principia was a great opportunity to have a similar level of competition," Brady said. "We were able to compete with Stevenson but struggled to match their strength of ball control and lack of mistakes. Principia was simply a match of who made less errors. It was very exciting to have it come down to a three-set match with everyone surrounding the court for our No. 4 pair."
Against Stevenson, Huntingdon went to three sets in the No. 2 match as the team of Creasman-Rochelle fell 19-21, 21-12, 15-8. The team of Hargitt-Young lost 24-22, 21-17 at No. 1 and the team of Hughes-Stringer lost 21-17, 21-18 at No. 3. DeVuyst-Hillman lost 21-8, 21-15 at No. 4 and Bullard-Mamon lost 21-8, 21-8 at No. 5.
For the day, Hargitt finished with 22 kills, 13 digs, four blocks and five aces and Young had 20 kills, 30 digs and three aces in the No. 1 matches. Rochelle totaled 19 kills, 34 digs, one block and two aces and Creasman recorded 20 kills, 20 digs and two aces in the No. 2 matches.
Hughes had 11 kills, 22 digs and four aces and Stringer finished with 12 kills, 15 digs and five aces in the No. 3 matches. DeVuyst turned in 18 kills, 26 digs and four aces and Hillman totaled 14 kills, 31 digs and four aces in the No. 4 matches. In the No. 5 matches, Mamon had 13 kills, 10 digs and six aces and Bullard finished with four kills, 10 digs and two aces.
"Coach Mary Willis and I saw so much growth from last weekend to this weekend from each pair," Brady said. "You can tell they buckled down this week in practice and really focused on their weaknesses. We are so proud of each one of them and how dedicated they are to continuing to work hard to compete with other more experienced programs this season. I hope this weekend ignited their confidence and that we can continue to grow this program."
Stevenson University 5, Huntingdon College 0
No. 1: Lauren Weaver-Katie Leftridge (STE) def.
No. 2: Grace Coleman-Trang Christensen (STE) def.
No. 3: Samantha Perillo-Sara Bollinger (STE) def.
No. 4: Megan Hren-Darian Hileman (STE) def.
No. 5: Chelsea Ireland-Deanna Bradbury (STE) def.
Huntingdon College 3, Principia College 2
Nikki Matters-Emelie Fredrikson (PC) 21-14, 12-21, 15-7
Cha Cha Fisher- Devon Marunde (PC) 21-13, 21-16
No. 3: Sophia Hathaway-Noelle Shoemake (PC) def.
Makena Patterson-Victoria Vandiver (PC) 19-21, 22-20, 15-11
No. 5: Amanda Roberts-Mesa Goebel (PC) def.