COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (September 12, 2021) – The duo of Will Bantle and Cal Fisher won the inaugural USA Volleyball Men’s Collegiate Beach Challenge on Sunday, capping an undefeated tournament run in Owings Mills, Md., on the campus of Stevenson University.
Bantle/Fisher, who both play on Penn State’s men’s indoor volleyball team, beat 2021 U.S. Beach Collegiate National Team member Noah Dyer and his brother George Dyer in the final, 2-0 (24-22. 21-17). The Penn State duo went 6-0 over the weekend. They won Pool 2 with a 2-0 record and earned the bracket’s No. 2 seed before winning eight of nine playoff sets.
The Dyer brothers reached the gold-medal match despite entering the tournament in the qualifier held September 10. After reaching the main draw, they went 1-1 in pool play and earned the 12 seed in the knockout rounds. They upset the fifth, fourth and ninth seeds before facing Bantle/Fisher and taking silver.
Campbellsville University’s Ryan Smith and Jason Camacho won bronze, beating Carlos Jimenez and Tyler Penberthy in straight sets for the medal. Smith/Camacho swept through their first two playoff matches before falling to Bantle/Fisher in the semifinals.
Two of Dyers’ Beach Collegiate National Team teammates also competed. Tim Brewster and Charlie Siragusa paired together, winning their pool and earning the playoff’s No. 1 seed before being upset in the quarterfinals.
Two other athletes with Beach National Team Development Program (NTDP) experience – Matt Gentry and Peyten Young – also lost in the quarterfinals with their respective partners.
Thirty-three teams and 66 players competed in Owings Mills over the weekend. Thirteen duos played in the qualifier, and four qualifying teams joined 20 others in the main draw.
The USA Volleyball Men’s Collegiate Beach Challenge was created to give men’s collegiate beach athletes the chance to test their sand skills in a competitive environment. Top finishers will have the opportunity to participate in future Beach NDTP events.