The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

EIU beach volleyball unable to get win on senior night

Senior Christina Martinez Mundo was honored for senior night along with graduate student Natalie Mitchem. Martinez Mundo won her dual 22-20, 21-19 while Mitchem lost 21-17, 21-10. (File)

Eastern fell to Lindenwood University’s beach volleyball team in a 3-2 scrap Wednesday afternoon at Sister City Park. The town of Charleston showed out for Eastern’s lone home game, as Sister City Park was buzzing with members of the community.   

Most of this buzz was contributed by a large contingent of fourth through sixth graders from Charleston schools.  

“I work really closely with [Rob] Ulm, who is the principal at Jefferson Elementary School, to set up this day so that their fourth through sixth graders could come out,” head coach Sara Thomas said. “I saw a lot of EIU fans, adult fans and coaches. I just want to thank everyone for coming out.”    

The match also served as Eastern’s senior night, with senior Christina Martinez Mundo and graduate student Natalie Mitchem being honored for their time at Eastern.   

The match began with Mitchem taking the court for the Panthers alongside freshman Masyn Navarro, backdropped against an overcast sky. The first set was a tight loss for Eastern, going down 21-17. The duo took another loss in the second set, coming up short 21-10 and giving Lindenwood their first point of the match.  

The Panthers balanced the score winning the second dual with a sweep. Sophomore Kate Dean and junior Laura Paniagua won both sets, with the first ending 21-16 and the second 21-19.  

The Lions soundly won the third set, sweeping the Panthers 21-12 and 21-7. Lindenwood’s senior Jessie Seidel and freshman Annalie McWhorter came up from the No. 4 spot to compete against junior Catalina Rochaix and sophomore Lilli Amettis. The Lions win in the third dual puts them up 2-1 in the match.

A Lindenwood win in the fourth dual would mean defeat on home court for the Panthers. Martinez Mundo and sophomore Tori Mohesky would keep Eastern’s winning chances alive by sweeping the fourth dual in two tight sets. The first was won 22-20 and the second was won 21-19.  

Now, with whisps of drizzle peppering the sand and dozens of elementary students filing into buses, junior Kaitlyn Flynn and sophomore Sylvia Hasz take the court at match point. The following sets would not turn out well for the Panthers, as they were swept 21-13 in the first and 21-8 in the second.  

Despite the loss, Thomas views the final loss with a silver lining. Her reasoning was that her players were able to gain experience.  

“The Lindenwood team, their pair in the ones, is probably the top pair in the conference,” Thomas said. “Giving [Flynn and Hasz] an opportunity to play at that high of a level will only pay off long-term for us in the fall.” 


Aidan Cusack can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]. 

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Ashanti Thomas
Ashanti Thomas, Photographer
Ashanti Thomas is a senior digital media major. She previously served as photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

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