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Beach Volleyball coming to UCA | Business

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Beach Volleyball coming to UCA
Beach Volleyball coming to UCA

CONWAY, Ark.—Women’s beach volleyball is coming to the University of Central Arkansas after the Board of Trustees voted to add it as the 18th varsity sport at the university.

The beach volleyball season is played during March and April and will begin at UCA in 2017, according to Dr. Brad Teague, director of athletics.

“It's exciting to add a women's sport to our already very successful lineup of nine women's sports,” said Teague. "Beach volleyball is the fastest growing sport in the NCAA and our conference right now. Being a part of this momentum will benefit our campus and program.”

Three other institutions in the Southland Conference are set to add the sport in the near future, including the University of New Orleans, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and Houston Baptist University. The NCAA began recognizing beach volleyball as a sport in 2010.

"Volleyball at UCA has been extremely successful on the conference and national levels,' said Teague. "Our volleyball student-athletes have consistently demonstrated success in academics, community service, citizenship and on the volleyball court.

"Adding numbers to this already successful group of young women will only enhance our department and our institution.”

The Sugar Bears volleyball program has been the most successful at UCA and in the Southland Conference since moving to NCAA Division I in 2007. The Sugar Bears have won four conference regular-season titles and two SLC tournament championships since 2008. UCA made NCAA Tournament appearances, the first in school history, in 2012 and 2013.

UCA's beach program will compete on new fields being built by UCA student life and intramurals and will be located adjacent to the intramural field in the south part of the campus.

"We appreciate the opportunity our Board of Trustees and President have granted our department,” Teague said, "and we thank Student Life for building the courts for recreational, intramural and varsity athletics use.”

Beach volleyball under NCAA regulations is played 2 on 2 and best three out of five sets. Played during the spring semester, beach volleyball will not conflict with the indoor volleyball season in the fall.

"We have received a lot of feedback during our normal volleyball recruiting process and all seemed to indicate an interest in UCA adding beach volleyball,” said Teague. "Also, a Title IX study and report noted the need for another female sport at UCA. We think this is the perfect sport for us to add at this time.”