By: Ruby Arani/ GCU Staff
In the fall, Grand Canyon University introduced co-ed club beach volleyball as Club Sports’ newest sport. This past Sunday, the GCU Club Beach Volleyball team finally opened their inaugural season at home against Northern Arizona University.
Each program had five teams of doubles. In order to win the match, the doubles had to win three of five sets. Women’s doubles started the day, but were unable to win a match against the NAU women’s side.
“All the women’s teams had challenging opponents, and I am proud of all of them,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Kelli Dallmann. Dallmann saw one GCU double especially stand out. “Freshman Peyton Leonard and sophomore Sophia Riddle competed in the number one spot, and definitely rose to the occasion. They worked on all the little adjustments I and assistant coach Chloe Jenkins had given them to make it tougher on their opponent.”
The men doubles kicked off following the women, and one double found a rhythm. Lopes’ senior David Daines and sophomore Dan Laskowski won their match in their final set. “Once again, all the men’s teams did an outstanding job for our first competition,” said Dallmann. “David and Dan played in the number three spot for their match, and played very calm and collected. They did an awesome job.”
Overall, Dallmann saw the day as an exciting milestone and learning opportunity for the program. “We have a lot to work on, but I hope that the team sees that we are heading in the right direction as a brand new program,” said Dallmann.
Dallmann, a former player herself, sees the great potential and future growth of the program.
“My goal is to teach these men and women the basics of beach volleyball skills and strategy so that they feel comfortable and confident competing in tournaments locally and nationally, on their own. (That way), they know they are playing this sport the correct way, and with more training and hard work, they can compete against people from all over!”
GCU Club Beach Volleyball will compete again in March at the NCSVA Beach Volleyball Tournament in Phoenix.
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