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U.S. Beach Volleyball Update for Jan. 10

Jan. 10, 2013, 7:09 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Communications
Phone: (719) 228-6800
E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org
@USA_Volleyball - @USAV Beach USAV Facebook

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 10, 2013) – The University of Nebraska has announced that it will add sand volleyball as a women's intercollegiate sport, beginning with the spring 2013 competition season.

The addition of sand volleyball to Nebraska's list of sport offerings, gives the Huskers 24 intercollegiate programs, including 14 women's teams and 10 men's teams. Sand volleyball is the first sport Nebraska has added since women's rifle began competition in the 1998-99 season.

Sand volleyball was approved as an NCAA Emerging Sport for women in 2009 and began play in the 2011-12 school year. Fifteen schools sponsored varsity teams in the spring of 2012, the first season of competition for Division I schools. The inaugural AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball Championships were held last April in Gulf Shores, Ala., and that site will host the championship from 2013 to 2015.

More than 20 schools are currently sponsoring sand volleyball, with that number expected to grow in the coming years. When 40 institutions in Division I and II have sponsored varsity programs for one year, the NCAA will sponsor an NCAA Championship in the sport. Should funds be approved for a championship in the next budget cycle, the NCAA would host its first national championship in the spring of 2016.

Nebraska Volleyball Coach John Cook said the growing popularity of sand volleyball made the addition of the sport at Nebraska an attractive option.

"We have talked a great deal about our vision for sand volleyball," Cook said. "We plan to start small and grow as the sport continues to develop. We understand the challenges in terms of our location, but we have a good plan on how to manage our sand volleyball team and grow with the sport."

Nebraska does not intend to offer scholarships for sand volleyball players, but all members of the Huskers' court volleyball team may participate in the sand season. Sand volleyball teams may have a maximum of two coaches, and Cook said he and assistant coach Dan Meske will fill those positions.

To view the AVCA’s list of colleges that have a sand volleyball program or are considering adding one, click here.

BEACH COACHING EDUCATION

Beach volleyball CAP cadre members train on the beach

USA Beach Volleyball Coaching Education is hosting a Beach CAP I course for all beach coaches interested in taking their coaching to the next level on Feb. 2-3 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.

Instructors will be former and current national team and collegiate beach volleyball coaches. Take advantage of this weekend to learn some new techniques and skills of the game.

For more information and to register for this USAV Beach CAP I coaching event, please visit the USA Volleyball web site.

PRESEASON MEETING

The USA Volleyball Beach Volleyball Department will host a weekend meeting for elite athletes on Feb. 22-24 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. The weekend will include meetings with sports medicine staff, team building exercises and media training among other activities.

WALSH JENNINGS, SELZNICK TO RAISE FUNDS

Kerri Walsh Jennings (Saratoga, Calif.) and Santa Monica Beach Volleyball Club are teaming up to hold a fundraiser on Jan. 20 at the Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica.

Walsh Jennings, a three-time Olympic gold medalist who is pregnant with her third child will join her husband, pro beach volleyball player Casey Jennings (Las Vegas, Nev.), and beach volleyball coach Dane Selznick in holding a clinic. Following the clinic, a dinner/auction will be held from 5:30-9 p.m. Cost for the clinic is $100; dinner/auction is $125 per person.

The Chase the Stars Foundation, Good Tidings, Wholesports and GameOn have come together to generate funds to build beach volleyball courts and provide scholarships to benefit players.

To register, visit SantaMonicaBeachVolleyballClub.com. For more information, contact 310-666-7247.

APRIL ROSS BLOGING

Olympic silver medalist April Ross has started a blog. To read it, click here.

RECKERMAN RETIRES

Jonas Reckermann, who won the men’s beach volleyball gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games with partner Julius Brink, has announced he is retiring from the sport due to back problems.

“This decision is very difficult for me for various reasons, but you can’t buy health and that’s the most important thing at the end of the day,” Reckermann, 33, told the Germany Volleyball Federation.

Reckermann has recovered from shoulder surgery he had in October; but a scan has shown that besides a known degenerative process in his spine, a cyst in the canal of the spinal cord is putting pressure on a nerve.

Brink has said he will play with Sebastian Fuchs in 2013.

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