Moreahead State’s beach volleyball team pushed another frontier in the NCAA’s fastest-growing sport on Monday when they hosted the first-ever NCAA Division I beach volleyball match in the state of Kentucky. The event christened the newly-named Breadstick Beach facility on Morehead State’s campus.
The historic event was spoiled for the home team by Austin Peay State, who beat their Ohio Valley Conference opponent twice by a score of 5-0, dropping Morehead State to an 0-6 record this season. Austin Peay, which is located across the border in Tennessee, had a banner season indoors, which saw them win the Ohio Valley Conference and advance to the NCAA Tournament. Their 2018 beach season has seen huge leaps as well – after just a 7-19 record last year in their first season of varsity competition, which included a 4-1 win in Nashville, they’ve already matched that output with a 7-8 record in 2018 after Monday’s sweeps. The two teams still have one more matchup scheduled at the season-ending Ohio Valley Challenge on April 20th.
Both teams played with identical lineups between the two matches, and while the outcomes of the early and late ends were very similar, there was one highlight for Morehead State in the afternoon match – Maddie Fella and Danielle McCarson were swept in their first match against Austin Peay’s Kaylee Taff and Chloee Stitt, but opened up with a set win in the rematch in the afternoon before falling 21-19, 16-21, 9-15 in a tiebreaker.
Austin Peay, who have now won 5-straight matches, used a few new pairs for the first time this season in the wins. Claire Darland and Brooke Moore played together for the first time this season; Moore had played the previous 3 wins at the #2 line with Caroline Waite (who didn’t play on Monday); Waite had previously spent her whole season playing at the #3 line before the recent shift.
The bottom end of the APSU lineup has carried them through the recent win streak. The #4 pair of Ashley Slay/Cory Theiss and the #5 pair of Chloe Sittt/Kaylee Taff have won each of their matchups on the current win streak, with the Stitt/Taff streak running to 6-straight.
Austin Peay 5, Morehead State 0
1. Ginny Gerig and Cecily Gable (APSU) def. Jessie Wachtman and Liz Allen (MOR), 21-18, 22-20
2. Claire Darland and Brooke Moore (APSU) def. Olivia Lohmeier and Jess Hall (MOR), 21-10, 17-21, 18-16
3. Haley Turner and Jenna Panning (APSU) def. Alyssa Cecil and Karlee Reynolds(MOR), 21-17, 21-10
4. Ashley Slay and Cori Theiss (APSU) def. Jordan Jones and Lauren Rokey (MOR), 21-13, 19-21, 15-10
5. Kaylee Taff and Chloe Stitt (APSU) def. Maddie Fella and Danielle McCarson(MOR), 21-12, 21-12
Austin Peay 5, Morehead State 0
1. Ginny Gerig and Cecily Gable (APSU) def. Jessie Wachtman and Liz Allen (MOR), 21-17, 21-13
2. Nina Korfhage and Brooke Moore (APSU) def. Olivia Lohmeier and Jess Hall (MOR), 21-16, 21-10
3. Haley Turner and Jenna Panning (APSU) def. Alyssa Cecil and Karlee Reynolds(MOR), 21-10, 21-14
4. Ashley Slay and Cori Theiss (APSU) def. Jordan Jones and Lauren Rokey (MOR), 21-8, 21-15
5. Kaylee Taff and Chloe Stitt (APSU) def. Maddie Fella and Danielle McCarson(MOR), 21-19, 16-21, 15-9