By: Ruby Arani/ GCU Staff
New program. New players. Same Grand Canyon University competitive mentality.
Earlier this year, GCU Club Sports announced that co-ed club beach volleyball has been added to the impressive club sports roster. Thursday night, fans got the first glimpse of the new Lopes’ Club Beach Volleyball program as they hosted the Black and Purple inter-squad men’s and women’s doubles tournament at the GCU Beach Volleyball Stadium. The double-elimination tournament featured six men’s doubles and five women’s doubles brackets.
On the men’s side, two teams tied for first place: Lopes’ junior Zac Provan and Lopes’ freshman Santana Soares-Madrid; Lopes’ junior David Daines and Lopes’ junior Kyle Forney.
On the women’s side, the combination of Lopes’ junior Stacy Poppe, Lopes’ freshman Jamie St. Meyer, and Lopes’ sophomore Missy Ellis (who filled in for Poppe in the championship match), took first place.
The tournament provided both Lopes’ Head Coach Kelli Dallmann and Assistant Coach Kris Naber their first opportunity to see their players in game-type situations. “It was great to see everyone in competition mode, and all the teams did such a great job of implementing the skills we’ve been practicing!” said Dallmann.
The inter-squad scrimmage was the Lopes’ first taste of competition, and they are eager for more. “The teams are definitely ready for new competition,” said Dallmann. Both Dallmann and Naber are working on a spring schedule for the Lopes to take on other local beach volleyball programs, such as Arizona Christian University and Benedictine University.
“I am so excited going into spring to start competition against other teams,” said Lopes’ sophomore Missy Ellis. “Coach Dallmann has already taught us so much, and I am looking forward to see the reputation we build for the program’s first year,” she added.
Dallmann knows the Lopes are ready.
“I think with the preparation we’ve been doing and what I plan to continue to do with the team next semester, we will definitely be prepared!”