Collegiate Sand Volleyball Tournament Readies for NCAA Recognition
8 Apr, 2015
AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championships Take Place May 1-3 at the Gulf Shores Public Beach
Locals and beach guests are encouraged to pack the stands at the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s (AVCA) Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championships May 1-3 at the Gulf Shores Public Beach at The Hangout. NCAA officials will be in town for this year’s events as 2015 is the last year before the championships become NCAA-sanctioned.
“Attendance at this year’s team and pair championships is more important than ever as our friends at the NCAA will be watching how the city of Gulf Shores, Sports Commission, The Hangout and the Gulf Coast Region Volleyball Association partner to deliver an elite collegiate tournament on our beaches,” says Beth Gendler, vice president of sales for the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission. “We need locals and visitors to come out and support these athletes and our area as we vie for consideration for the NCAA-sanctioned championship to stay on our beaches.”
AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer says with more than 50 schools sponsoring sand programs around the country, competition is at its best and will bring a whole new level of rivalry to Alabama’s beaches.
“The collegiate sand volleyball field is intensely competitive this spring,” says DeBoer. “Upsets happen every weekend, and this year’s eight-team field will be the strongest ever. The top collegiate teams battling it out on the world-class beach at Gulf Shores will be an event you won’t want to miss.”
In conjunction with the AVCA championships, the Gulf Coast Region of USA Volleyball will host a Junior Club and Open Division Beach Volleyball Tournament on Saturday and Sunday (May 1-2), and an adult tournament will also take place on that Saturday. The association is a region of USA Volleyball, the national governing body for sand volleyball in the U.S., and is comprised of club teams from across the nation aspiring to reach the Olympic level. Beachgoers are encouraged to cheer on these youth and adult athletes as they strive to win the series title.
“The Gulf Coast Region plays a huge part in organizing and hosting the AVCA tournament, and everyone involved with the sand championships is very excited that the NCAA has recognized sand volleyball as a sport,” says Shawn Weaver, co-director, board member and coach for the Gulf Coast Region of USA Volleyball. “This only means more available scholarships for our female athletes and more opportunities to play at the next level. Also, the NCAA brings more funding to continue to host the best championships for these players.”
In addition to soaking up the sun courtside, fans and families can enjoy the “Volleyball Village” complete with food, drink and sports vendors that will accompany the tournament.
CBS Sports is set to capture the action throughout the weekend for television audiences and will air the AVCA championships at a later date.
It will be a fun sports weekend in Gulf Shores as the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s (AHSAA) 4-5-6-7A Track Championships takes over the Gulf Shores Sportsplex from April 30 through May 2. For more information, visit AHSAA.com.
For information on upcoming athletic events along Alabama’s Gulf Coast, visit GulfShoresOrangeBeachSports.com, or call 1-800-745-SAND.