Skyhawks set for NCAA Beach Volleyball Tournament opening-round showdown against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi tomorrow
The UT Martin beach volleyball team is ready for its second straight NCAA Tournament appearance as the Skyhawks will take on Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in a clash between conference champions Wednesday afternoon at 4:00 on the sandy beaches of the Gulf Place facility.
The matchup that pits the No. 16 seed UT Martin (27-8) squad against the No. 17 Islanders (24-9) is not only the first contest of the NCAA Tournament but also is the only match until Friday, May 5. The winner of the Skyhawks and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi tilt will take on No. 1 seed UCLA in the first round on Friday at 10 a.m.
It’s been a whirlwind couple of days for UT Martin as the Skyhawks learned their opponent on Sunday morning, approximately 21 hours after defeating Morehead State in the OVC Championship match. UT Martin then departed campus for the near-500-mile trip on Monday morning and is set to conduct its official practice at the Gulf Place courts from 4-5:30 p.m. today alongside the Southland Conference champion Islanders.
Unlike last year where all five courts were going simultaneously, tomorrow’s match will start with the No. 2 and No. 4 pairings, followed by the No. 1, No. 3 and No. 5 pairings after a 12-minute warmup session. All duals at the 2023 NCAA Tournament will be played to decision, meaning the match is stopped as soon as one team obtains three victories.
The match will begin with the Skyhawks’ No. 2 duo of Kambree Lucas/Olivia O’Keefe (24-9 record, 20-7 at No. 2) against Kristin Bobay/Chloe Tome (18-12, all at No. 2). UT Martin’s Haeleigh Paulino/Jenna Vallée (23-3, all at No. 4) will take on Shea Slusser/Kela Moreno (18-4, 3-0 at No. 4).
The second wave of matches includes Dylan Mott/Logan Wallick (17-9, 16-9 at No. 1) against Kiley Lewis/Giuliana Poletti-Corrales (16-11, all at No. 1); Lucy Kaufman/Addy Vaughn (20-7, all at No. 3) versus Jade Bennett/Tori Johnson (20-11, all at No. 3) and Kayla Carrell/Ryan Rednour (6-0, all at No. 5) against Maria Duda Fernandes de Melo/Hannah Doyle (16-13, 2-0 at No. 5).