Shaw and Tinsley head to Alabama this week as they become the second Saint Mary's pair ever invited to the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championships. The event, which will be held in Gulf Shores, Ala., begins Friday with pool play. The knockout stage begins Sunday and the championship match is set for Sunday evening.
This year's trip will be Shaw's second to the end-of-year tournament. Now a senior playing her final matches in a Gael uniform, she earned a spot in the tournament last year with partner Dalas Dodd and reached the knockout round. This will be Tinsley's first trip to the national championships.
SMC's top team certainly has the resume to back up its selection. Shaw and Tinsley went 10-2 this season, helping the Gaels to an 11-2 record as a team. The duo won its first 10 matches of the season, setting the tone for a successful campaign in their first season as partners.
Shaw and Tinsley will compete in Pool B once they get to Alabama. They'll be joined by Dagnija Medina and Kim Hildreth of North Florida, Kenzie Phelps and Kelli Dallmann of Grand Canyon, Tyler Jackson and Janisa Johnson of Long Beachs State and Tea Juric and Jackie Wegner of Tulane.
CBS Sports Network will televise portions of the competition in a two-hour special that will have three airings: May 26 at 4 p.m., May 30 at 4:30 p.m. and June 2 at 4 p.m. For more information on the tournament, visit AVCA.org and click on Sand.