Life's a Beach for U.S. Silica
MAURICETOWN -- Some of the nation's best volleyball players will soon sink their toes into a silky, white layer of Cumberland County.
A local sand plant has been tapped to provide sand for NCAA volleyball courts around the country.
Division I and II Women's sand volleyball, the newest collegiate sport to be approved by the NCAA, has agreed to use sand from U.S. Silica's 315-acre industrial sand plant in Mauricetown.
The agreement calls for U.S. Silica to manufacture Beach White Volleyball Sands for sand volleyball court construction across the nation.
Plant manager Scott Eves is proud of his company's prestige and partnership with the NCAA.
"We're the leader in this beach volleyball business," said Eves. "There are no other sand companies that make the Beach White."
Sand volleyball is set to begin with the spring 2012 season.
American Volleyball Coaches Association Executive Director Kathy DeBoer said having the proper sand makes an incredible difference for volleyball players.
If it's too coarse, it cuts you up and if it's too soft, there's no movement, she said. If it's too dusty, it gets in players' lungs. DeBoer has seen an athlete dislocate a shoulder because of sand in poor condition.
"We really wanted a partner that had experience in the sand business," said DeBoer. "We wanted somebody that cared about volleyball."
U.S. Silica mines about 230,000 tons of sand per year, Eves said, most of which comes from an 800-acre sand mine in Port Elizabeth.
"Most of what goes on is not particularly mysterious or ominous or anything," he said. "We dig up dirt, we separate it according to the grain size, we clean it and we put it back together and we put it in packages."
U.S. Silica Marketing Manager George Dodson also is pleased with the company's track record. Along with the sand plant's new partnership with the NCAA, another recent accomplishment stands out to him as one of the company's proudest moments ever.
Dodson said that the company recently contributed sand to build a volleyball court as part of an Extreme Makeover Home Edition episode for a career volleyball coach who adopted three girls.
Volleyball is an emerging sport in the country, said DeBoer.
She added that U.S. Silica has been a pleasant partner, and the amount of time and interest U.S. Silica has dedicated is very impressive.
"We're one of these companies that nobody knows exactly what we do and now there's a chance to get out there," said Eves. "We've been providing sand for volleyball courts and donating it for years."
-Article courtesy The Daily Journal