The 3rd Collegiate Sand Volleyball Season will begin this coming weekend. This will be the first year with over 40 schools (and counting) participating in the sand season. The American Volleyball Coaches Association will be hosting the third AVCA Championships this May 2-4, as the NCAA will start planning to transition sand volleyball from an emerging sport to a championship sport.
Having over 40 schools add the sport in less than 3 years makes sand volleyball the fastest-growing sport in Division I collegiate athletics. So the question is… How many more schools will add the sport in the coming years?
Schools, both coastal and non-coastal, have been joining the bandwagon. From Hawaii to California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Idaho, Nebraska, South Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, sand volleyball is taking the nation by storm.
These young women are now taking off their shoes and dipping their toes in the sand. Some are even kicking their shoes to the curb for good and committing solely to sand volleyball. While this may be a new sport to many, there are a few veterans that have led the way.
The AVCA released a preseason poll with Pepperdine University, University of Southern California, Long Beach State and Florida State as the top 4. These four powerhouses have been at the forefront of the sport since its first inaugural season.
The anticipation of the upcoming season sets the tone for what the future holds for the sport. And with so many new schools now, the competition is heating up. Who will come out on top in 2014? Stay tuned…
Before the 2008 Summer Olympics, around 20 select athletes were invited to the White House. Of these 20 athletes, this included beach volleyball greats Todd Rogers, Phil Dalhausser, Misty May and Kerri Walsh.
Upon arriving, the athletes had a press conference in the rose garden with over 200 media professionals present. After speaking to the media, Rogers was expecting to go back to his hotel. Instead, he and the other athletes were asked to go to the Oval Office to meet the President of the United States at the time, George W. Bush. Being a sports fan, President Bush wanted to personally meet these 20 standout athletes. Once in the Oval Office, he made his way down the line of athletes, which he all knew by name, and introduced himself.
Rogers happened to be the very last athlete in line. As the other athletes filed out of the Oval Office, President Bush came up to Rogers and shook his hand. “The crazy part for me was that I was in there for a couple minutes; President Bush was wishing me good luck at the Olympics and telling me I’ll do great. It was literally just President Bush, this Secret Service guy, and me in the Oval Office at the White House. I was literally in awe.” That evening the athletes were invited to a state dinner with over 180 people in attendance. At the dinner, the athletes also had the privilege of meeting former President George W. H. Bush.
That was a very surreal day for Rogers, but it didn't end there. In Beijing, Rogers and Dalhausser were practicing before Olympic competition started. They noticed a ton of big, black suburban’s pull up to the beach volleyball courts, and out walks President Bush. He came over and said hello to Rogers, Dalhausser, Walsh and May and took some photos with them. “It was amusing to see him in his informal wear with tons of Secret Service in black suits all around him.” Rogers also mentioned that the beach volleyball players from other countries recognized him at the venue and ran over to see him.
“Being an Olympian is amazing, but getting to meet the President on top of that is pretty special.”
Ross and Kessy have also had the honor of meeting President Obama at the White House, and former President Bill Clinton at his foundation in Palm Springs, California.
By Alex Baker
The AVP’s own Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross, and Phil Dalhausser were among the sporting luminaries in attendance on Saturday night for the first ever game of ice hockey to be played at Dodger Stadium.
The temperature was a balmy 61 degrees as the LA Kings took to the ice against the Anaheim Ducks in a game that ended 3-0 in favor of the visiting Ducks.
Legendary rock band KISS got the evening underway, playing one set prior to the game and another during the first intermission. The rock band Five for Fighting also performed a set during one of the intermissions.
While the outdoor ice rink specially constructed for the game in infield was front and center, there was also a beach volleyball court set up in left field. Walsh Jennings, Ross, and Dalhausser all took to the sand for exhibition matches during the first and second intermissions.
Other sporting greats on-hand for the historic event included legendary ex-Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda and hockey icon, Wayne Gretzky.