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Beach volleyball now served at TAMU-CC

TAMUCC Islanders will have a sand volleyball team beginning Spring 2016. Courtesy photo TAMUCC

Sand volleyball is joining the intercollegiate athletic lineup at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, beginning with the spring 2016 season. The Islanders now have 16 sports competing at the Division 1 level.

“Sand volleyball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the nation and we are positioned perfectly to compete in this arena,” said Dr. Flavius Killebrew, President/CEO of TAMU-CC. “Our volleyball team is already very strong and the addition of sand volleyball allows our female athletes to expand their skills by playing throughout the year.”

Dedication ceremonies for the newly created courts will be held June 12. The courts are on the Momentum Campus inside the Dr. Jack Dugan Family Soccer and Track Stadium.

Coaches include current Islanders volleyball staff, directed by head coach Tony Gravestone. The season runs during spring semesters, with championships set for early May each year. Next year will be the first time NCCA will hold championships for sand vollyeball, when it will become the 90th sport at that level.

“Watching the growth of sand volleyball in the high school and prep ranks, it’s obvious that it is quickly becoming a mainstream sport around the nation,” Graystone said. “Adding the sport to our intercollegiate program will help both the athletics department and our volleyball program as a whole. We have heard from a number of top recruits who have told us they would really have interest in playing both indoor and sand volleyball, and I think it will be a big boost to the caliber of student-athletes we can bring in here.

“I’ve also seen the excitement of the Corpus Christi community around the sport with our annual Beach Slam,” he added. The Beach Slam is usually held in late April or early May. “I truly believe this is a sport that will draw great interest from around the Coastal Bend.”

More than 50 institutions sponsored sand volleyball this past year, with several more expected to add the sport soon. Sand volleyball is not currently organized in conferences, though Southland members Houston Baptist and New Orleans also sponsor the sport.

In NCAA sand volleyball, two schools play five best two-out-of-three set doubles matches against one another, with the winner being the first to claim at least three of the contests. Teams are required to take part in a minimum of eight matches on a maximum of 16 playing dates. The majority of teams play 4-5 matches per weekend over a span of four weekend tournaments.

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