CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - Like most new programs, the Coastal Carolina Beach Volleyball team endured some lean years after being founded in 2016.
Head coach Steve Loeswick inherited the team three years ago and things have been trending up ever since.
“I fell into a really lucky situation,” said Loeswick. “When they brought me on, we didn’t have a ton of beach-only athletes. We had to use a lot from the indoor to kind of get us through those first couple of years. Once we got some talented beach athletes and were able to train them up and it’s been really exciting these last few years.”
Things in Conway have been exciting due to the winning. In just his second season at the helm in 2019, Loeswick’s team set a program record with 21 wins.
Fast-forward two years, the “Sandy Chants” look to top that mark as they’re currently in the midst of a record-setting streak.
Coastal set a program record with its 11th straight win on Wednesday.
“I just really enjoy winning and I think it’s super exciting to have a winning streak and be able to challenge ourselves,” said junior Martine Kragholm.
“Everyone has bad days but the fact that we were able to play good enough volleyball to get those wins, that’s pretty impressive,” said fellow junior Lucy Campbell.
Both Kragholm and Campbell have been key factors for the Chants’ dominant spring.
The tandem has won ten straight matches together and 16 in all this season.
Kragholm transferred from UTEP after playing for its indoor team but says she’s enjoying life in the sand.
“I had some experience with beach volleyball but I never really like tried to really do it as the main event but when I got the opportunity to I was like this sounds like a lot of fun,” said Kragholm.
While Loeswick admits he nearly split up the dynamic duo at the beginning of the year, Campbell says their chemistry is far too strong.
“We understand where each other’s heads are at,” said Campbell. “Then once we’re off the court, we don’t carry it with us. If we have a bad game, we talk about it afterward and then we’re back to being best friends off the court.”
This historic campaign for the Sandy Chants adds to the many for teams in teal this year.
Now that she’s found a home and success on the beach, Kragholm hopes the program can continue to reach new heights.
“Being able to put beach volleyball out there is super exciting and having other athletes and people know about the sport is super exciting as well,” said Kragholm. “It’s exciting to be part of a school where sports is prioritized and everyone wants to encourage each other.”
The Sandy Chants will aim to keep their streak going this weekend in the Florida State Tournament. Coastal will face three ranked teams over the course of two days.