Beach volleyball looks for their niche

Stevenson women’s beach volleyball team has begun their fourth season as a program, and currently has a 5-7 record after spending spring break competing in Florida.

Stevenson women’s beach volleyball competed in Florida during spring break, winning several big games. (Photo by Brett Adams)

Coached by Dave Trumbo, the team is was the first Division III school to offer beach volleyball as a varsity sport. The Mustangs compete against Division I, Division II, and Division III schools.

The Mustangs began their season in Fort Wayne, Ind., where they participated in the first-ever NCAA indoor beach volleyball tournament. They came away with two wins, one against Division III Principia College and one against Division II Carson-Newman University. The Mustangs finished the weekend 2-2, with losses to Morehead State University (Division I)  and Tusculum University (Division II) according to gomustangsports.com.

The next stop for the Mustangs was Miami, Fla., where they competed in eight games over the course of the week of March 17, 2019. They started off the week hot, with three wins as they faced Palm Beach Atlantic University (Division II), St. Thomas University (NAIA Division I), and Palm Beach State College (NJCAA Division I).

The tables started to turn for the Mustangs as their trip progressed. After a devastating injury to junior Trang Christensen, half of the Mustangs’ No. 1 pair, the team finished off the week 3-5. The Mustangs suffered losses to Florida Southern University (Division II), St. Leo University (Division II), and Webber International University (NAIA Division I).

Junior Caroline Dangel digs the ball to put the Mustangs on the board. (Photo by Brett Adams)

Coming off a shaky weekend, the team remained poised and started to focus on the games to come. Freshman Grace Chaffee said that she thinks playing the difficult competition in Florida has only fueled the Mustangs to push harder in practice. She added that the time spent bonding while away has improved their team chemistry, which she thinks will help the team progress as well.

Trumbo said he is still confident that the Mustangs will finish out the second half of their season strong. They are a young team with no seniors and a relatively new program, with a huge potential for growth and development. He also noted that freshman Piper Connors has stepped up to compete in No.1 matches since Christensen’s injury, which is crucial right now for the team.

Looking forward, the plan for the Mustangs is to get the best possible seed in the Small College National Championship at the end of April in Taveras, Fla., where 12 Division II and III teams will compete one final time.

The Mustangs travel to Tennessee April 6, and then will host a tournament at home on April 13 and 14 against Loyola University of Maryland (Division I), Huntingdon College (Division III), and Liberty University (Division I) on the beach volleyball courts next to Mustang Stadium.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email