Beach volleyball drops first three matches in program history at New Orleans Invitational


The university’s first beach volleyball team fell to three opponents during their season opener at the Digs Volleyball Complex in Covington last weekend.

The Lions went 0-3 at the New Orleans Invitational Tournament, coming up short against Texas A&M Kingsville and Southern Miss on Friday, March 6. They closed out the weekend with yet another loss against Texas A&M Corpus Christi.

The Lions went 0-5 with each team. However, Head Coach Jeremy White was still satisfied with his players’ efforts.

“We went 0-3 this weekend, but I am happy with how the kids performed,” commented White. “I thought they competed well, played these tough teams. A lot of these teams have already played at least one weekend, maybe even two, so we’re a little behind in regards to that, but I’m super happy with the way they played.”

The majority of the beach volleyball team is comprised of previously indoor-only players. Freshman player Jolie Hidalgo said that for her, the transition from indoor to outdoor is still in the works.

“Just getting used to it, none of us are really familiar with it,” commented Hidalgo. “It just takes time and practice with your partner, working out the little kinks.”

Although the Beach Lions are now 0-3, Hidalgo says she has seen huge improvements from when the team first stepped onto the sand.

“If you would have been there for the first practice, we’ve improved so much,” commented Hidalgo. “It doesn’t really show because we didn’t win anything here, but they’ve been having programs for a while,. and our scores are pretty close for some games. We didn’t win anything, but we were competitive, and I think that’s all we can ask for. “

Freshman Karlee Wilkerson described what she learned after coming out of the tournament empty-handed.

“I learned to not get mad at what goes on,” said Wilkerson. “You can’t control what happens. This first thing was just a trial run, and you can only get better as you go on.”

Hidalgo echoed Wilkerson’s sentiment.

“Even though you might lose every single game, you still have to be competitive and try for every single point because that’s what matters, is to get better every single game, not win,” mentioned Hidalgo.

The Lions will travel to Houston, Texas on March 14-15 and will play their first home game on March 20 against Nicholls at the Southeastern Beach Volleyball Complex.