A pair of LSU Tigers grabbed the bottom of their pool for the California Beach Volleyball Association-Semana Nautica Women’s Open Championship at East Beach on Saturday.
Kahlee York, a former LSU beach player, and current player Kylie Deberg recorded their first victory together by defeating the sister duo of Lindsey Knudsen and Delaney (Knudsen) Mewhirter, 28-21, in the one-game final. .
York/Deberg were an unknown team entering the tournament, as it was only the second time they played together. They were ranked fifth in their qualifying group.
But with York’s speed, great knowledge of the pitch and ball control, and Deberg’s striking and blocking power, the pair made their presence known on the pitches set up in front of the Cabrillo Pavilion.
“She’s such a big block and she’s also easy to play,” York said of the 6-foot-4 Deberg, who played inside at the University of Illinois for a season and three. seasons at Missouri before transferring to LSU to graduate. school. She played for the Tigers indoor team during her senior Covid season and for the beach volleyball team.
In his first year playing on the sand, Deberg helped the Tigers enter the NCAA Tournament, where they defeated Cal and TCU.
York, who ended her four-year LSU beach volleyball career in 2021, said she watched Deberg play indoors and on the beach and realized she would make a good doubles partner.
“I looked at her and said, ‘OK, I want to play with this girl’, and I contacted her at the end of the (college) season. We had coffee and talked, and she didn’t didn’t know anything about AVP and how it worked, I gave him details and we talked about playing it.
They debuted at the AVP event in Muskegon and qualified to qualify for the main draw. They lost two matches which ended in three sets.
“We lost two battles,” York said.
York/Deberg were in a close battle against the experienced team of Knudsen/Mewhirter.
Former Dos Pueblos High and Stanford volleyball star Carly Wopat took third place with partner Chanti Holroyd. (photo by Ken Delgado)
After Knudsen served an ace to make it 18-17, York used some finesse and hit a soft, deep shot for a side. Deberg then made a big block to help his team open a 20-17 lead. York followed with a dig and a deep shot for a point before Mewhirter retired to make it 20-18.
York/Deberg then raced to open a 23-18 advantage. York finished the game with a put away.
“Playing with her, I learned a lot about beach play,” York’s Deberg said. “I didn’t have a lot of time to learn the transition from indoors to range at LSU. (Kahlee) was awesome, and she’s such an awesome player, she sees the pitch so well.
With the win, York/Deberg are in contention for a spot at the AVP Manhattan Open. Placement will be determined by the results of three CBVA Open tournaments.
Former Dos Pueblos High and Stanford indoor star Carly Wopat had a strong tournament and finished tied for third with partner Chanti Holroyd. Cal Poly’s Ella Connor and UCLA’s Natalie Myszkowski also placed third.
The top three earned their “AAA” rating from the CBVA.
The CBVA-Semana Nautica Men’s Open will be contested in front of the Cabrillo Pavilion on Sunday. The pool game starts at 9 a.m. and the final is scheduled for around 5 p.m.