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U.S. Beach Volleyball Update: Collegiate Challenge

March 01, 2013, 6:31 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 1, 2013) – USA Volleyball has announced that it will host two Collegiate Challenge events for NCAA sand volleyball teams in March and April.

Summer Ross of Pepperdine hits against Hawaii's block on April 14 at the USA Volleyball Beach Collegiate Challenge. Photo copyright USAV/Tyler Daugherty
Players from Pepperdine and Long Beach State compete at  the
2012 USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge.

The first event will be held March 14-17 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. Teams from Pepperdine, Florida State, Nebraska, CSU Bakersfield and Grand Canyon University are expected to compete.

The second event will be held April 20-21 in Hermosa Beach, Calif. Teams from Pepperdine, Southern California (USC), Long Beach State, Hawaii, Loyola Marymount, UCLA, Santa Clara and CSU Bakersfield are expected to compete.

“USA Volleyball wants to see collegiate sand volleyball continue to expand across the country,” said Ali Wood Lamberson, USA Volleyball director of beach programs. “We want to make sure sand volleyball programs have every opportunity to compete and that the public has every opportunity to watch them in action.”

The tournaments will be free and open to the public.

The sport of sand volleyball was approved by the NCAA as an Emerging Sport for women in 2009.  Fifteen schools sponsored varsity teams in the spring of 2012, the first season of competition for Division I schools. That number has doubled in 2013 and is expected to surpass 40, the threshold for championship status, by the spring of 2014. 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.

USAV Collegiate Challenge – Chula Vista, Calif.
When: March 14-17, 2013
Where: Olympic Training Center - Chula Vista, Calif.
Teams: Pepperdine, Florida State, Nebraska, CSU Bakersfield and Grand Canyon University
Link to register as a volunteer: https://usavbeach.webconnex.com/ccvol

USAV Collegiate Challenge – Hermosa Beach, Calif.
When: April 20-21, 2013
Where: North Side of the Pier in Hermosa Beach in front of the Beach House Hotel
1300 The Strand, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Teams: Pepperdine, Southern California (USC), CSU Long Beach, Hawaii, Loyola Marymount, UCLA, Santa Clara, CSU Bakersfield
Link to register as a volunteer: https://usavbeach.webconnex.com/cchb

MORE COLLEGES ADD SAND VOLLEYBALL

The University of San Francisco (USF) has announced that it will compete in sand volleyball starting this spring, while the University of South Carolina has announced it will have a program in 2013-14.

“We are excited to add sand volleyball as our 15th sport,” said USF Director of Athletics Scott Sidwell in a press release. “The growing popularity of sand volleyball and the strength of WCC indoor volleyball made our strategic decision to add opportunities for our women's programs a natural fit. We believe that we can be competitive from the onset of regional competition.”

The Dons will be co-coached by USF indoor head coach Gilad Doron and Eyal Zimet. An accomplished former professional sand volleyball player, Zimet came to USF as an assistant indoor volleyball coach in 2012 and will use his extensive experience on the court and in the sand to help guide the new program.

At South Carolina, the Board of Trustees has approved the construction of a playing facility that would be located in the Athletic Village near the new Carolina Tennis Facility, Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field and the soccer practice fields.

Moritz Moritz will serve as the first head coach of the Gamecocks' sand volleyball program, after spending the past two years as an assistant coach on the Gamecocks' indoor volleyball team. Moritz will leave the indoor team to concentrate solely on starting this new program.

HUNTINGTON BEACH PRO-AM

Two-time U.S. Olympians Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) are scheduled to compete on March 2 in the 2013 Huntington Beach Pro-Am benefiting Athletes' Promise.

Teams will consist of one professional and one amateur player. A professional player is defined as one who is in the top 80 of the 2012 USA Volleyball Beach National Rankings.

Gibb will compete with Chan Gibb while Rosenthal will play with Jeff Alzina.

The tournament is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. south of the Huntington Beach Pier. For more information, click here.

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