Saturday, 25 March 2023

NCAA Beach Volleyball

Beach Volleyball – 10 Years and Growing – University of South Carolina Athletics

Beach Volleyball – 10 Years and Growing – University of South Carolina Athletics

South Carolina Beach Volleyball celebrates its tenth anniversary as a varsity sport this spring. Head coach Moritz Moritz has been there since day one and is proud of the growth of his program as well as the sport on a national level.

“It’s been exciting to see it built from the ground up,” Moritz said. “The beauty of it is to see that we’re getting better, but the crazy thing is that everyone else is too. That means we’re all doing something right. The reach of the sport is great. The first couple of years there were maybe 20 or 30 teams, but it was exciting because in the next couple of years you were seeing 10 to 20 programs that were interested and added it. The movement was very quick.”

Like any other sport, there were expectations for success early on, which meant developing a good culture and having facilities to recruit.

“We said we wanted to win at the highest level and build that around the most positive culture that we can,” Moritz said. “That’s an expectation that comes from the top down, starting with an Athletics Director in Ray Tanner who has accomplished that with baseball. At the time we started, Dawn Staley was taking off with the women’s basketball program, equestrian was winning national championships, tennis and golf were doing unbelievable things, and (Steve) Spurrier was here with football ranked in the national top-10. We knew we had to keep up! Ten years in, we still have one of the premier facilities in the country, and we have a reputation for that.”

The NCAA officially recognized beach volleyball as a collegiate sport in 2010, with the Gamecocks playing their first season in 2014, but it wasn’t until 2016 that an NCAA championship was held. Now, there are more than 90 NCAA beach volleyball programs at schools across the country.

“Interest is high, and expenses are low,” Moritz said. “Indoor volleyball is so popular, and in beach volleyball you see it blowing up on the juniors level and continues to do so. A lot of the kids who we are evaluating now have been playing beach volleyball exclusively since they were ten and twelve years old, where before they had only played it a little bit and had played mostly indoor. That’s where the explosion comes from.”

“Every year, we continue to hit markers where we say, that’s the first time we’ve done that. We still have some targets.”

Head Coach Moritz Moritz

The inaugural season saw the Gamecocks post a…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Beach Volleyball – University of South Carolina Athletics…