AVCA Announces Teams for First Sand Championship

By B. J. Hoeptner Evans | April 16, 2012, 12 a.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org

The AVCA contributed to this release

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 16, 2012) – The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) has announced the four schools and 16 pairs that will compete in the first Collegiate Sand Volleyball Championship on April 27-29 in Gulf Shores, Ala.

The four schools chosen to compete in the team competition are College of Charleston (Charleston, S.C.), Florida State University (Tallahassee, Fla.), Long Beach State University (Long Beach, Calif.) and Pepperdine University (Malibu, Calif.).

The pairs competition will include the top doubles team from the University of Southern California, the University of Hawai’i, Florida Atlantic University, the University of Alabama-Birmingham, the University of North Florida and Stetson University, as well as the No. 1 and 2 duos from the schools in the team championship. Teams and pairs were selected based on results from the first collegiate season of competition, which began in March.

“The field for the upcoming Collegiate Championship is a strong representation of sand volleyball across the country,” said USA Volleyball director of beach programs Ali Wood Lamberson, who was on the selection committee. “Fans who have not yet seen any collegiate sand matches this year are going to be impressed with the level of play; especially from the top eight pairs."

CBS Sports Network will televise portions of the competition in two hour-long specials. Part one of the coverage will air beginning on Wednesday, June 6 at 9 p.m. ET and part two will air on Wednesday, June 13, also at 9 p.m. ET. 

“When we joined with CBS Sports Network in 2005 to create the first-ever collegiate sand volleyball championship, this day was just a distant dream.  It’s exciting that this partnership continues,” said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer in a release. “Once the NCAA voted to make sand volleyball an emerging sport, we could see the potential was unlimited.  This field is deep, with good geographical representation. These two championships will showcase the high level of play that is already part of the collegiate landscape.”

The team championship will be held on April 28. Each of the four schools will field five doubles teams ranked in order. The schools will compete in dual matches in which the winner is the team capturing three of the five flights. Play will start at 11 a.m. CT on five championship courts that have been constructed specifically for this event. Teams will battle in a double-elimination format with duals scheduled on the hour, and the final matchup scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. CT.

The pairs championship will consist of sixteen doubles teams engaged in pool play on Friday, April 27 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT. The results of that play will determine the seeding of the 16 pairs into a single elimination tournament on Sunday, April 29.  First-round matches will start at 8 a.m., with quarterfinals scheduled for 9 a.m.  Both semifinals and the championship match will be held on center court, beginning at 11 a.m., and will be covered in depth by CBS Sports Network.

Team Championship:
1. Pepperdine
2. Florida State
3. Long Beach State
4. College of Charleston

Pairs Championship
Pool 1
Aurora Newgard/Brittany Tiegs – Florida State University
Jane Croson/Ashley Lee – University of Hawai'i
Haleigh Hampton/Libby Fontanilla – Long Beach State University
Emily Shelton/Kelly Kolich - College of Charleston

Pool 2
Caitlin Racich/Summer Ross - Pepperdine
Kirby Burnham/Kelly Irvin – University of Southern California
Joanne Tate/Alessia Pizzocheri – Florida Atlantic University
Kirsten Gallagher/Heather Thomas – University of Alabama-Birmingham

Pool 3
Caitlin Ledoux/Tara Roenicke – Long Beach State University
Lilla Frederick/Kim Hill - Pepperdine
Elyse Chubb/Lizzie Theesfeld - College of Charleston
Kaley Melville/Julie Bassett – Stetson University

Pool 4
Geena Urango/Sara Shaw – University of Southern California
Jace Pardon/Jekaterina Stepanova – Florida State University
Liz Stoltzman/Emily Hartong – University of Hawai'i
Dagnija Medina/Emily Strack – University of North Florida