Wrapping Up the Inaugural AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championships


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Inaugural AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball Championships a Spectacular Success for Schools and Spectators

Lexington, KY (May 1, 2012) - It was all fun in the sun at the inaugural AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championships in Gulf Shores, AL, a landmark event bringing together elite competition from the collegiate sand volleyball scene to anoint both a Pairs Champion and a Team Champion. The tournament would serve as the capstone to the first-ever collegiate sand volleyball season, a season which saw 15 varsity programs from around the country participate, with more to come in subsequent years. Competition took place on the beautiful white sand beaches of Gulf Shores, where five newly constructed courts were built especially for hosting the championship.

The championship event spanned three days and featured top competitors from programs that participated in the first season of collegiate sand volleyball. Friday and Sunday were devoted to naming a duo as the Pairs National Champion, while Saturday saw four of the best programs in the country battling it out for the Team National Championship.

The Pairs Championship was awarded to the winner of a 16-team single-elimination tournament that took place on Sunday morning and afternoon. Seeding for the tournament was based on the results of pool play on Friday afternoon. 

The Team Championship was given to the winner of a four-team double-elimination tournament, of which the field consisted of four top teams as selected by a committee comprised of representatives from various aspects of the volleyball community.

Pepperdine, Long Beach State University, Florida State University and the College of Charleston were selected for the Team Championships. Each of their top two pairs was awarded an at-large spot in the Pairs Championships, where they would face pairs from the University of Southern California, the University of Hawai'i, Florida Atlantic University, UAB, the University of North Florida and Stetson University.

Pepperdine capped off a historic season by claiming the Team Championship on Saturday, followed by one of their duos, Racich and Ross, claiming the Pairs Championship on Sunday. The team title was the school's 20th national championship overall, and the first to be won by a women's team. After defeating the other pair from their school in the semi-finals, they defeated Long Beach State University's pair of Ledoux and Roenicke in three sets to win the title. Racich and Ross clinched the championship in comeback fashion, dropping the first set 14-21 before rebounding to win the second set 21-15. They overcame an 11-14 deficit to win the deciding set, 16-14.

In Saturday's team action, Pepperdine dispatched LBSU in the second round, only to see them battle out of the loser's bracket to face them again in the Team Championship. Pepperdine would sweep all five flights to secure the victory.

The AVCA partnered with the CBS Sports Network (CBBSN) to provide special coverage of the event. Camera crews were on hand the entire weekend collecting game footage, interviews and commentary for inclusion in the upcoming Alt Games: College Action Sports Championships Highlight Show, which will air on CBSSN on Sunday, July 15 at 2 PM EST.

Footage from the weekend will also air on CBSSN as a two-part special, with the first hour broadcasting on Wednesday, June 6  from 9-10 PM EST, and the second hour airing on Wednesday, June 13 at 9 PM EST.

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