As befitting a school located just minutes from the beach, Loyola Marymount University continues to make a name for itself in beach volleyball.
Last weekend, LMU alums Betsi Flint and Emily Day combined to capture the AVP Hermosa Beach Open women’s championship, winning five straight matches without losing a set after entering the tournament ranked No. 1. It was Flint and Day's fourth team title in 10 AVP tour events, and Day’s ninth and Flint's fifth career titles overall.
"I've never won a SoCal tournament so that was a bonus to win where we train every day," said Flint, the assistant coach of LMU's beach volleyball team that won its first West Coast Conference beach volleyball title in April.
Last weekend was the first time Flint had ever played the Hermosa tournament, one of the tour’s most prestigious, and the first AVP tournament she ever attended 10 years ago, when she was in eighth grade.
“I never thought 10 years ago I would be in this position,” she said, “so to win the tournament I grew up watching is amazing! It was extra special."
In the finals July 28, Flint and Day defeated Kathryn Hogan and Megan Rice, a junior on the current LMU beach volleyball squad from Redondo Beach, 21-14, 21-14.
During her LMU career, Flint earned a pair of AVCA All-American selections, in 2014 by way of a Final Four appearance with partner Litara Keil, and in 2015 reaching the 2015 National Championship match with partner Sarah Sponcil.
A native of Phoenix and a current USA Beach Volleyball team member, Flint was named 2015 AVP Newcomer of the Year after winning her first tour event in Cincinnati with partner Kelley Larsen. Flint and Larsen then finished fifth at the 2015 Pan American Games and did well on the 2016 NORCECA Continental Tour.
Day, meanwhile, has been on the AVP tour since 2009, following a solid collegiate career at LMU in which she earned All-WCC honors twice and All-Academic Team honors three times. A native of Torrance, she earned a degree in Applied Mathematics at LMU.
On the pro tour, Day has teamed with several partners to win events in Manhattan Beach, Huntington Beach and Hermosa Beach (in 2017, with Brittany Hochevar), and for a while teamed with former Olympic silver medalist Jennifer Kessy.
In April of 2018, Day began teaming with fellow LMU alumna Flint on the beach. The duo has proved strong, capturing gold at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Haiyang Open and winning AVP stops in Seattle and San Francisco.
Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News).
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