Beach volleyball plays its first ever home match


Ashanti Thomas

Lilli Amettis and Christina Martinez Mundo both dive for the ball during a match against Missouri Baptist Monday afternoon in Sister City Park. Amettis and Martinez Mundo lost in 3 sets with the the Panthers losing to the Spartans 3-2.

Zaria Flippin, Beach Volleyball Reporter

The Eastern beach volleyball team  lost its home opener against Missouri Baptist 3-2 Monday afternoon at Sister City Park. This was the first-ever home beach volleyball match for the Panthers.

The match started with EIU juniors Ella Collins and Emily Wilcox against Missouri Baptist junior Maria Hanusik and freshman Gabi Jakubowska. The competitive energy and spirit from both sides were shown as Collins and Wilcox went on a 4-0 run early in the match, and went on another 5-0 run later on.

“It was a lot of fun,” Wilcox said after her match, “We were setting the standard for the rest of the day.”

“It’s fun to be able to play at the place that we practice and have people from EIU come and watch us play because last year, we never had that.” Collins said.

Collins and Wilcox played with each other last year, and they feel like their chemistry was an advantage for them today.

“We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, so we’re able to work with each others in ways that I think other teams are still trying to figure that out.” Collins said.

Collins and Wilcox are two of five returners from the 2022 season for the Panthers. The other three returners are sophomore Catalina Rochaix, Christina Martinez Mundo, and Kaitlyn Flynn.

This season is Sara Thomas’ first season as head beach volleyball coach after Manolo Concepcion stepped down after the team’s 0-15 season last year.

The Panthers will attend their second OVC Weekend in Chattanooga, Tennessee to play four matches. Their first match will be against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles on Friday, March 24 at 9 a.m.


No. 1 – Maria Hanusik  / Gabi Jakubowska (MoBap) def. Ella Collins / Emily Wilcox (EIU) – 23-21, 18-21, 15-9

No. 2 – Catalina Rochaix  / Kate Dean (EIU) def. Natalie Edson/ Sara Klunder (MoBap) – 21-16, 21-13

No. 3 – Marina Obradovic  / Isidora Stojovic (MoBap) def. Christina Martinez Mundo / Lilli Amettis (EIU) – 21-14, 16-21, 15,9

No. 4 – Kaitlyn Flynn  / Sylvia Hasz (EIU) def. Liz van Houwelingen / Nathiellen Machado (MoBap) – 21-17, 15-21, 16-14

No. 5 – Emma Lattimore  / Kirsten van der Vleuten (MoBap) def. Tori Mohesky / Giovana Larregui Lopez (EIU) – 21-13, 21-11

Zaria Flippin can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]