The music was blaring near the whitest sand in Conway on Saturday afternoon.

With temperature 80, it was a flip-flop, shorts kind of afternoon, partly cloudy with a nice hints of sunshine and a refreshing breeze.

Perfect for beach volleyball on the immaculate sand at the UCA Beach Courts.

Dogs were playing, occasionally chasing volleyballs on the three sand courts during warmups.

Could they dig?

Those talents were needed later.

In the middle of the match between UCA's MC Rogers and Delaney Driver and Ottawa University's Ayona Tharpe and Kiarra Harris, Tharpe let out a shout.

The UCA team was dominating the match.

Not that.

Tharpe lost an earring in the sand.

Needle in a haystack? Pretty much, beach style.

Players  from both team coach Melissa Blessington went to their knees as they were searching for a contact lens.

You can imagine the challenge of finding a single earring in a large clump of white sand, sifting through differnet plots.

The match was paused for a few minutes. Nothing.

Later in the second set, Rogers was serving and thought she felt something with her feet.

"I think I found it," she signaled to her opponent.

Another break in the action.

Rogers knelt and began sifting sand and picking up small piles in the sand, resuming mining operations. Tharpe joined her.

Nothing found.

"But it's in this area," Tharpe said.

After the match, the entire Ottawa team resumed the search. Blessington brought out a raked and slowly stirred the sand.

The third mining operation continued for about five minutes, each player taking a small area and shook and sorted sand through their hands.

Suddenly ...

"Found it!" said teammate Jamie Tonasker.

Tharpe ran and gave her a hug

"We won, we won!" Tharpe shouted with a laugh and started jumping for joy near the net.

The Bears clearly prevailed in the sand. But for a few moments on a late spring afternoon, the Ottawa Braves lorded over the ring.

Sports editor David McCollum can be reached @dmccollum@thecabin.net. Follow him on Twitte @dmaclcd