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Published: April 17, 2023

Tampa Beach Volleyball Crowned National Champions for Third Time

The University of Tampa beach volleyball program captured its third National Championship in program history over the weekend.

Tampa Beach Volleyball Crowned National Champions for Third TimeThe Spartans have collected titles in 2019, 2021 and now most recently 2023. Photo by Sean Gallagher

Tampa defeated Colorado Mesa in the 2023 AVCA Division II Small College National Championship 3-0 at Hickory Point Beach in Tavares, FL.

Julia Oswald and Payton Brunick, who were paired together in the 1’s defeated Holly Schmidt and Macie Lachemann from CMU (21-10, 21-12). Nevaeh Wolfe and Hailey Wolfe won two sets over Jada Hall and Gracyn Spresser as the 3’s pairing (21-15, 21-18).

Keely Hamilton and Madison Brunick defeated Tye Wedhorn and Sabrina VanDeList in the 4’s pairing, (21-14, 21-13) to secure a 3-0 victory for the Spartans.

In the 2’s, Tampa had the second set, (20-18, 17-12), but did not finish due to the match having already been clinched.

Finally, in the 5’s pairing, the Spartans had Kali Cors and Alivia Horn. The 5’s lost the first set and were leading in the second, prior to the match being called, (21-19,11-10).

In the process of collecting the program's third National Championship in the last five years, Tampa  faced some familiar opponents throughout the weekend.

On Day 1 in pool play, the Spartans defeated Carson-Newman (3-0) Friday morning and Tusculum (3-1) later that afternoon. On Day 2, Tampa fell in a morning match against Concordia, but was still in a great position heading into a rematch versus Carson-Newman later that afternoon.

Much like the first match, they came out victorious over Carson-Newman (3-0) and set themselves up Sunday morning for a match with a familiar foe in Palm Beach Atlantic. The Spartans defeated the Sailfish (3-2) for the third straight time this season, sending the program to its third National Championship.

In the end, Tampa defeated the 2022 National Champions, Colorado Mesa.

The Spartans have collected titles in 2019, 2021 and now most recently 2023. The 2020 tournament was canceled due to COVID-19. They have appeared in three national championship matches and are a perfect three for three. 

Tampa won five of its six matches over the weekend. Julia Oswald and Payton Brunick were named NCAA Division II All-Americans.

In Pool 3, Reagan Carlton and Sammie Ostrander were pool challenge champions, in Pool 6, Sara Szalay and Leah Williams and in Pool 7, Gia Marinelli and Ashley Brin were pool challenge champions.

This story first appeared on TampaSpartans.com.


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