Jacksonville State University welcomes Sand Volleyball as the 17th varsity sport.
The NCAA voted to add Sand Volleyball in 2010 to its list of emerging sports for women. The following year, 15 Division I schools sponsored the sport. In 2013, 15 additional programs added the sport.
Now, JSU has added the sport and is alongside UAB as the only Division I programs with Sand Volleyball in Alabama.
“Dr. Meehan, Greg Seitz and the entire administration have done an outstanding job in this process,” said JSU Volleyball coach Terry Gamble.
Competition will begin in the spring of 2016 and will consist of eight to 16 playing dates. There will be a tournament at the end of the season and even a NCAA championship, which is scheduled to finally arrive in 2016.
JSU will compete with the same players and coaches as they do for their indoor volleyball team. They will use the sand court next to Stephenson Hall.
“I think Sand Volleyball is a great addition to JSU,” said Gamble. “I think it is something the community and students at JSU are going to enjoy watching.”
Sand Volleyball is a lot different from indoor volleyball. Indoor is played with six players on the court and allows substitutions. Sand is played with two people on the court. Teams will consist of five pairs of players. The first team to win three of the five matches is the winner.
Gamble said he’s just really excited for himself and everyone involved. He also mentioned that the girls are ecstatic. He talked about how they had smiles from ear to ear when they heard the news.
“It is going to be new to a lot of them, but they are looking forward to representing JSU and playing,” said Gamble.
It will also be new to Gamble as he talked about one key coaching change.
“It will be different wearing sun tan lotion while I coach,” Gamble said.