UTC Beach Volleyball Earns Share Of Ohio Valley Conference Championship

  • Saturday, April 20, 2024
 For the first time in Chattanooga beach volleyball’s five years of existence, the Mocs can call themselves Ohio Valley Conference champions after UTC came away as co-regular season champions on Saturday at the OVC Weekend in Martin.

Entering the day needing a pair of wins to clinch a share of the regular season crown, the Mocs were able to sweep their way past Eastern Illinois and Morehead State to finish tied with UT Martin atop the OVC standings at 9-1 in conference play. 

“What a special group we have,” head coach Darin Van Horn said.
“Maddi (Myers-Osband) and Madi (Morris) have dedicated their careers to helping this program get their first and our leadership group held the standard every day. These young women have done a great job of handling adversity and accepting challenges.”

“Most importantly, I’m grateful for my wife, Juliana, who has helped this program grow while juggling two kids. I love this group and I’m so happy they get to have this memory together forever! Now we look forward to the tournament!”

The Mocs end their regular season 16-9 overall, including winning 15 of their last 16 matches of the 2024 schedule.

UTC now turns its attention to the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament, set to run April 25-27 in Morehead, Kentucky. The Mocs must await the result of UT Martin’s match later today to learn whether they are outright champions and the tournament’s No. 1 seed, or if they will instead hold the No. 2 seed in the event of a Skyhawk win tonight. 

If the Mocs end up as the No. 1 seed, they will play their opening round match in Morehead at 2 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 25. If they are the No. 2 seed, they would open their tournament at 4 p.m. ET that same day.

Chattanooga vs. Eastern Illinois – W, 5-0

Once again, the Mocs continued to provide dominant dual wins from the top of their lineup down in OVC play. To start the day against Eastern Illinois, the Mocs already found themselves ahead 1-0 after UTC earned a win on Court 5 via forfeit. UTC’s No. 4 pairing of Paige Gallentine and Kaye Gresham continued to capitalize on an already down EIU team, grabbing a two-set win for themselves. It was the Court 3 duo of Joy Courtright and Maddie Lecik that would seal the match, steamrolling their way to a 21-4, 21-9 victory to clinch the win for the Mocs. Courts 1 and 2 would then complete the sweep for the Mocs, securing Chattanooga’s eighth sweep of the season.

1. Neva Clark/Corina Vale (UTC) def. Kaitlyn Flynn/Sylvia Hasz (EIU) 23-21, 21-13
2. Gylian Finch/McKenna Faychak (UTC) def. Chri Martinez Mundo/Tori Mohesky (EIU) 21-13, 15-21, 15-9
3. Joy Courtright/Maddie Lecik (UTC) def. Catalina Rochaix/Lilli Amettis (EIU) 21-4, 21-9
4. Paige Gallentine/Kaye Gresham (UTC) def. Kate Dean/Laura Paniagua (EIU) 21-15, 21-12
5. Morgan Romano/Julia Lawrence (UTC) win by forfeit

Order of finish: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Chattanooga vs. Morehead State – W, 5-0
The plan was simple for UTC entering their final match of the 2024 regular season: win against Morehead State, and they would secure themselves at least a share of the OVC regular season title. The Mocs went to work right away, with the No. 4 duo of Paige Gallentine and Kaye Gresham quickly earning a two-set sweep to open the match. Meanwhile on Court 5, Morgan Romano and Julia Lawrence ultimately battled through a hard-fought, five-set thriller to eventually put the Mocs on the cusp of earning the OVC crown. Chattanooga wouldn’t have to wait long to start the celebration, as UTC’s No. 2 pairing of Gylian Finch and McKenna Faychak powered past their opposition to secure the match win, alongside a share of the Ohio Valley Conference title. The cherry on top of the day would be yet another UTC sweep after Clark/Vale and Courtright/Lecik earned wins on Court 1 and 3, marking the team’s ninth sweep of the regular season.

1. Neva Clark/Corina Vale (UTC) def. Sydney Wyman/Bella Marita (MSU) 21-15, 21-23, 15-10
2. Gylian Finch/McKenna Faychak (UTC) def. Irene Wogenstahl/Shea Hefner (MSU) 21-10, 21-19
3. Joy Courtright/Maddie Lecik (UTC) def. ME Hargan/Peighton Isley (MSU) 29-27, 21-16
4. Paige Gallentine/Kaye Gresham (UTC) def. Brenna Bommer/Lily-Kate Carver (MSU) 21-10, 21-11
5. Morgan Romano/Julia Lawrence (UTC) def. Amelia Nott/Courtney Fitzgerald (MSU) 21-13, 15-21, 15-4

Order of finish: 4, 5, 2, 3, 1
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