HUNTSVILLE, AL. (KAKE) - Wichita native and LSU junior Ellie Shank is changing the narrative of beach volleyball at the highest collegiate level. Last weekend, the Valley Center graduate and Kylie Deberg, an Iowa native, paired up to take home the inaugural Fall AVCA Pairs National Championship.

The pair represented the Tigers in a field of 64 teams and went 8-0 on the way to the title. The weekend prior, the duo had slogged their way through a tournament.

"I told my teammates when I got back after this weekend, the prior weekend was like, oddly, way more taxing at least like on my body. We went to three sets, like three times. But obviously, the competition we were playing wasn't as high of a level as this pair’s national championship," Shank said.

"So, I don't know one extra week of practice just gave us enough time to click when it really mattered for the pair's championship or what but it really was, oddly, easy. I would say, not easy, but less taxing than the weekend before."

The no-coast duo took down teams from huge volleyball states like California, Texas and Florida and proved that no matter where someone trains or grows up, they can reach the highest echelons of college beach volleyball. 

I think my favorite part about this weekend is that I'm from Kansas and Kylie's from Iowa. It's definitely a pride thing. The West Coast schools, coming from the beach, you grow up and all you do is go to the beach and you play volleyball. But for Kylie, Kylie didn't start playing beach volleyball until about two years ago when she transferred from indoor to do her fifth year at beach, and I started at the beginning of high school."

Despite the short time playing on the surface, LSU put them in a position to succeed and they took advantage. 

"We haven't been doing it as long as the West Coast girls. But I think it like speaks to our training here at LSU and our coaches that they're able to develop us that quickly and like see the potential before we're even beach players. "I think it for sure this event like speaks that it doesn't matter where you come from, you just got to put in the work and have a coach bet on you. And then when you get there, do everything you can to work hard for them."

Beach volleyball season will pick up in February for Shank and the Tigers.