A monumental day for NCAA Volleyball and volleyball in the USA. The first ever NCAA Women’s Sand Championship was held today in Gulf Shores, AL, yes Alabama. “The Hawaii people and the California people were like, `Are you kidding? We’re going to Alabama to play beach volleyball?”’ said Kathy DeBoer, the Executive Director of the American Volleyball Coaches Association, which is running the event. “But this is an absolute hidden gem.’ I guess it took the USA Volleyball Teams, four Olympic Gold Medals, for the US to wake-up and recognize the great sport of volleyball. It’s only one of the most popular events of the Olympic Summer Games and across the world. As a great French player, Winthrop Volunteer Assistant Coach and friend of mine, Francois “Frenchy” Hertwig, posted on my Facebook status, “It’s about time.” Pepperdine won the first ever NCAA Team Championship Trophy as well as the Doubles Trophy.
On the men’s side, volleyball is growing at a rate where Division III now has it’s own Championship (this is the first year the men had enough teams and the NCAA recognized the championship). Fittingly, Springfield College Men’s Team beat Carthage College 3 – 0 in the Championship. Fittingly because William G. Morgan, founder of volleyball, graduated from Springfield College where the first collegiate matches were ever played. Springfield College was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1996, where “no other college or university has had a longer history and greater impact on volleyball than Springfield College”.
A great day for volleyball (and yes the matches were available online – I watched on my iPad and am showing a great screenshot. Be sure to download the NCAA Sports app).