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Long Beach Poly Volleyball Wilson

Beach Volleyball: Pravednikov & Eckenrode Win All-Wilson Moore League Pairs Championship

The562’s coverage of Long Beach Volleyball in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Misty May-Treanor and the Dream in Gold Foundation.

It felt a lot like summer on Thursday afternoon at Long Beach City College, where the Moore League beach volleyball championships played its semifinal and final matches with two teams from Wilson and two from Poly. It was a great day to be on the sand, and an even better day to be a Bruin, as the two Wilson teams met in the finals, with juniors Chloe Pravednikov and Kate Eckenrode claiming the title with a 21-17, 21-10 win.

“We’re excited, because last year we got second, and we wanted to come back and win it for us this year,” said Pravednikov. “This season we’ve definitely had more practices and time to work together.”

The day couldn’t have gone much better for Bruins head coach Gerald Aquiningoc, who had the enviable challenge of coaching his own players against one another for the championship. The other Wilson duo in the finals–and thus earning second place–was the tandem of senior Allanah Smith and junior Camille Agrupis.

“I’m really happy for the four of them, and for Allanah and Camille, they’re indoor players and they were questionable to come out and play this year, said Aquiningoc. “So just getting them to come out and play was great … And these four, they push each other. I’ve told them this whole season, ‘I want us to win these pairs finals, these two teams.’ And we achieved our goal.”


The top-seeded Pravednikov and Eckenrode won their semifinal comfortably, 21-12, 21-4, to secure their place in the finals. Meanwhile, it took a comeback from Smith/Agrupis to win their semi in three sets.

That pair of Bruins dropped their first set to Poly’s top pairing of Haile McGinest and Georgia Camandang, who was a replacement for the injured Taylor Mercado. The Jackrabbits won the first set 21-17 as McGinest showed off her offensive prowess with a number of quality spikes. But Wilson’s veteran duo was able to rally back and win the next two frames 21-9 and 15-9 to force the All-Wilson final.

McGinest and Camandang faced two of their Poly teammates in the third-place match, defeating Cynthia Hinojosa and Hannah Ballungay by a score of 21-17, 21-17.

In the gold medal matchup, Pravednikov and Eckenrode started out well in the first set to take a big lead, but struggled to get past 19 as their schoolmates made a long run late in the set. The experienced duo was able to re-focus however, and kept the pressure on for the rest of the match.

“It’s awesome for Chloe and Kate, and I’m so happy for them, because they finished second last year in the first (competition), so they were amped for this,” said Aquiningoc. “And they’re really excited to go into CIF, too. So yeah, it’s a great day for us. Great day to be a Bruin!”

Speaking of CIF, the Moore League schools are in Division 2 and the brackets will be released this Saturday morning. Wilson’s excited about their chances as a team, and as pairs, with Eckenrode making her aspirations clear after Thursday’s triumph.

“Hopefully the medal, for sure,” she said of her postseason goals. “We’re trying to go for first.”

VIDEO: Moore League Beach Volleyball Championship
PHOTOS: Moore League Beach Volleyball Championship
Tyler Hendrickson
Tyler Hendrickson was born and raised in Long Beach, and started covering sports in his hometown in 2010. After five years as a sportswriter, Tyler joined the athletic department at Long Beach State University in 2015. He spent more than four years in the athletic communications department, working primarily with the Dirtbags baseball program. Tyler also co-authored of The History of Long Beach Poly: Scholars & Champions.