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p1440 Franklin Sports Collegiate Challenge - October 2022
The inaugural Collegiate Fall pairs season is in full swing, and all we can say is... WOW!
p1440 held its inaugural Franklin Sports Collegiate Challenge in Tavares, Florida on October 29-30, 2022 and seeing is believing when it comes to the level of competitive play and parity that has developed in the college game. Last weekend at the first AVCA Collegiate Pairs Championship, many of the coaches on site agreed that they had never seen collegiate beach volleyball being played at such a high level from top to bottom. The NCAA in 2014 officially recognized collegiate women's beach volleyball as a D1 NCAA Championship sport and in just 8 years, COVID years included, beach volleyball is the fastest growing collegiate women's sport and is already shaking up the women’s professional landscape with current and post graduate talent that was nurtured in the college ranks.
The p1440 Collegiate Challenge was set over two days and included seeded pool play, power pool play and a single elimination Gold and Silver Championship brackets. The perennial Florida powerhouse, Florida State University, coached by Brooke Niles, was as impressive as always from top to bottom and put the pair of newcomer transfer from FIU, Paige Kalkhoff and junior Raelyn White in the Gold Championship match facing the undersized but incredibly dynamic squad Carolina Ferraris and Anete Namike from Stetson University. The match was back and forth and very exciting with each team taking a set and moving to the deciding 3rd game. In game 3, Stetson head coach Kristina Hernandez employed a timely and strategic serving strategy that took advantage of some tired legs on the Florida State side and put the match away with a fabulous display of defense and transition…winning the Championship in 3 games.
Finishing 3rd in the Gold division was Ellie Austin and Christine Jarman, a powerful FAU squad coached by head coach Steve Grotowski. The silver bracket was won by Madison Espy and Maddie Norris representing North Florida coached by Head Coach Doug Wright. Second place was Aliya Fredette-Huffman and Leeann Potter representing Saint Leo coached by Assistant Coach Emily Kalmink.
Stetson and FSU state took home a 30-pack of the brand new to the market Kerri Walsh Jennings Franklin High Performance 9000 beach volleyball for their weekend display of excellence finishing first and second in overall university pairs points.
The women's pairs season is here to stay and, from the looks of it, will have all the competition and flavor that makes beach volleyball on the collegiate level so exciting.
p1440 would like to thank all the colleges and universities for playing in our inaugural pairs event - Stetson, FSU, FGCU, UNF, UT, FAU & St. Leo. We will continue to support the Fall pairs season and collegiate play in general in the future and honor these amazing college beach athletes, coaches and universities.
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