Sand Volleyball Joins List Of Hawai'i Sports


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HONOLULU - The University of Hawai'i Athletics Department has announced the addition of sand volleyball as a new intercollegiate sport beginning in 2011-12. UH will be one of the first pioneering schools nationwide to compete in sand volleyball, recognized by the NCAA as an emerging women's Division I sport.

With the addition of sand volleyball, UH will now feature 21 intercollegiate teams - 13 women's, seven men's, and one co-ed.

"Sand volleyball is the perfect addition to complement our very competitive indoor program," said Marilyn Moniz-Kahoohanohano, Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator. "The combination will ensure that elite players consider us the top attraction in the nation. We have the best island environment and the talent to develop this at the highest level. We are looking forward to the opportunities it presents to the players to excel indoors and outdoors in our most popular sport for women's volleyball. With Head Coach Scott Wong and his great background in beach volleyball, we are in for a lot of fun."

Wong, an associate head coach with the indoor team, will serve as the inaugural head coach.

"I'm honored that (Athletics Director) Jim Donovan had the confidence in me to start this sand volleyball program and I'm excited about this opportunity to coach the young women who are going to represent the university and state of Hawai'i," Wong said. "Our goal is to be the best and to build this team into a championship-caliber program."

Indoor volleyball and sand volleyball will operate as a combined program. There will be at least 14 players on the team and in the beginning of the sand volleyball program development, the bulk of the players will be the members of the indoor volleyball team.

Competition begins in March and ends in May. UH is expected to host one or two weekend tournaments and travel two weekends to participate in mainland tournaments. UH is also planning to play four dual matches for a total of eight to 12 playing dates. At this time a collegiate national championship event is still being discussed.

As of June, a total of 14 schools have committed to field a sand volleyball program including West Coast schools Long Beach State, Pepperdine, and USC.

The format of competition is dual matches with five doubles teams and/or tournament style with multiple opponents. The first team to win two out of three sets wins. Sets 1 and 2 will be played to 21 points rally scoring with the third set to 15 points rally scoring.

The team will play the 2012 season at an off-campus site to be determined. Two competition courts are projected to be built by the end of 2012 in the Clarence T.C. Ching Complex and two additional practice courts adjacent to the complex will also be added by the end of 2012. 

*Article courtesy Hawai'i athletics

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