Tarleton Beach Volleyball ends opening tournament with 1st win in program history


LAKE CHARLES, La. – Tarleton State Beach Volleyball left their first tournament of the inaugural season with a win, finishing 1-3 overall at McNeese’s Cowgirl Beach Bash in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

The Texans (1-3) dropped their opening pair in the event on Friday, 5-0 to No. 20 Cal Poly and 4-1 to the host McNeese. On Saturday, Tarleton split the pair, enduring a 5-0 loss to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, then defeating Nicholls State 4-1 for their first win as a program.

“The McNeese Cowgirl Beach Bash was a great season-opener to be a part of,” head coach Tatyana Tuialii-Umi said. “We faced a lot of tough competition and I’m very proud of how quickly we were able to adjust and play to our strengths all across the board. Our Sandy Texans pushed back harder each match as the tournament went on and really bought in to the idea of doing the little things right. I’m so proud of these girls for securing our first win in program history!”

Tarleton’s first match in program history was about as tough as it could come, with the Mustangs slotted No. 20 by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Coaches Poll, the official recognized poll by the NCAA. Cal Poly is ranked as high as No. 13 by CollegeBeachVB.com.

Cal Poly took all five matches in straight sets. At No. 1, Ella Connor and Izzy Martinez defeated Emma Halcomb and Allison Bryant 21-9 21-12. In the 2’s, Piper Ferch and Erin Inskeep took down Grayson Schirpik and Breanna McDonough 21-15 21-11. In the 3’s, Piper Naess and Quinn Perry beat Melina Maldonado Ortiz and Charlize Ching 21-5 21-6. As for the Pair 4’s, Emma Zuffelato and Sydney Terrell took down Isabel Gonzaba and Tatum Busch 21-14 21-13. In the 5’s, Julia Soeller and Katie Clevenger defeated Sydney Garrison and Rajini Fitzmaurice 21-12 21-12.

In Tarleton’s second match of the day, they took on the host McNeese Cowgirls, who are also playing in their inaugural season. The Texans got a win at Pair 5, as Garrison and Fitzmaurice won 19-21 22-20 15-7. McNeese won the other four matches, defeating Halcomb and Bryant 21-19 21-16 at No. 1, Schirpik and McDonough 21-18 21-19 at No. 2, Maldonado Ortiz and Ching 21-16 21-17 at No. 3, and Gonzaba and Busch 21-16 21-19 at No. 4.

On Saturday, the Texans first took on Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to start. Last year, the Islanders advanced to the NCAA Tournament, finishing 21-13 overall. On Saturday, they knocked off the Texans 5-0, winning 21-11 21-10 over Halcomb and Bryant at No. 1, 21-14 21-12 over McDonough and Schirpik at No. 2, 21-9 21-10 over Maldonado Ortiz and Ching at No. 3, 21-16 21-14 over Garrison and Fitzmaurice at No. 4, and 21-10 21-11 over Gonzaba and Busch at No. 5.

In Tarleton State’s team win over Nicholls State, they won four pair matches at Nos. 1, 2, 4 and 5. At No. 1, Tarleton’s Halcomb and Bryant won 21-14 21-14. At No. 2, McDonough and Schirpik won 22-20 21-19. At No. 4, Garrison and Fitzmaurice won 21-15 21-19. At No. 5, Gonzaba and Busch won 21-15 21-19. Nicholls State won at No. 3 21-12 21-19 over Maldonado Ortiz and Ching.

Cal Poly left the tournament a perfect 4-0 and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi went 3-1. Tarleton State, McNeese and Nicholls State all beat each other, going 1-3 at the event.

The Texans have nearly a month off before they play again. They’ll host their lone home matches of the season on March 22 against Texas A&M-Kingsville at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the Tarleton Beach Volleyball courts.

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