Recap of the 2023 NAIA Women’s Beach Volleyball Invitational Championship
PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. – [SCHEDULE | RESULTS | BRACKET] The 2023 NAIA Women’s Beach Volleyball Invitational was a nail-biter that came down to three courts finishing at nearly the same time before deciding a 3-1 win for the Vanguard (Calif.) Lions who became the second invitational champion on the gulf in Panama City Beach.
Corban (Ore.) and Vanguard (Calif.) made their way through the regular season and conference tournaments with no losses to any NAIA teams except for Westcliff (Calif.). Vanguard met them during the regular season and Corban in the conference tournament title match.
Vanguard, with a win at the Golden State Athletic Conference tournament, advanced to the invitational and Corban advanced with an at-large bid.
The teams first faced each other in 2023 during pool play at the national invitational as Corban (Ore.) gained the upper hand with a 5-0 win.
After being placed into the bracket after pool play, the teams earned their way to the finals for the second year in a row for a rematch of the 2022 title match.
Corban was the first to strike with a win at the five’s position as Kalisi Latu and Jolinn Daviscourt closed the match in two sets.
Vanguard followed with a two-set win of their own coming from Emma Galloway and Hannah Wilme at the two’s position.
The one, three and four positions all battled through a third set. All three courts matched at 13-11 on the scoreboard at the same time with Vanguard leading on two of the three courts.
Conley Harris and Morgan Nash of Vanguard finished their match on court one just seconds prior to Bailey Coffin and Madison Arnold scored the final point on court four and secured the 3-1 match win for the Lions. Court three was one point away from finishing their match in favor of Ally Schmidt and Keelani Ontai of Corban when court four finished.
Montana Ray Pelak, Webber (Fla.)
Marine Kinna, Westcliff (Calif.)
Fiona Moesching, Westcliff (Calif.)
Ally Schmidt, Corban (Ore.)
Megan Dennis, Corban (Ore.)
Keelani Ontai, Corban (Ore.)
Emma Galloway, Vanguard (Calif.)
Hannah Wilmes, Vanguard (Calif.)
Conley Harris, Vanguard (Calif.)
Morgan Nash, Vanguard (Calif.)
MVP: Avari Ridgway, Corban (Ore.)
Pair of the Year: Avari Ridgway, Megan Dennis, Corban (Ore.)
Coach of the Year: Kris Dorn, Vanguard (Calif.)