SOUTH CAROLINA TAKES TEAM CROWN IN SEC COACHES CHAMPIONSHIPS, RECOUNT REVEALS SOUTH FLORIDA, NOTRE D
SIESTA KEY, Fla. - The South Carolina Gamecocks captured the top prize in the second-annual SEC Coaches Beach Volleyball Championships at the Fiesta on Siesta Key this past Saturday.
Today event officials, during a routine review of the results in the matches played at the event, discovered that the South Florida Bulls and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish ended the Collegiate Beach Volleyball Challenge team competition in a tie. It's an interesting post script to what is thought to be the largest collegiate beach volleyball tournament ever held, last Saturday in Siesta Key, Fla.
The Gamecocks claimed the Commissioner's Cup at the second-annual Southeastern Conference Coaches Beach Volleyball Championships, while the Bulls, originally named team champions, will share the Team Cup honor with the Fighting Irish in the Collegiate Beach Volleyball Challenge.
Each of the 11 schools in the SEC (Vanderbilt does not sponsor volleyball) sent at least one team to participate in the event, while several schools from other conferences competed in the Collegiate Beach Volleyball Challenge. More than 20 schools participated in the Fiesta on Siesta Key.
The Tennessee tandem of Nikki Fowler and Kylie Marshall took claimed the Gold Division of the SEC Coaches Beach Volleyball Championships with a 21-19 victory against South Carolina's Hannah Lawing and Jordan Bradosky in the championship match.
USF's Marcela Gurgel and Jarka Havlickova captured the Gold Division of the Collegiate Beach Volleyball Challenge by winning a 21-16 decision against Florida Atlantic's Grabner and Gerig.
A champion was crowned in the Gold, Silver and Bronze Divisions of both the SEC Coaches Beach Volleyball Championships and the Collegiate Beach Volleyball Challenge.
Beach volleyball was introduced to the collegiate scene by CBS College Sports Network with the Collegiate Nationals, an original event founded by the Network in the spring of 2006. That event is now in its fourth season. The coaches of the Southeastern and the Sunshine State Conferences followed with their beach tournaments in the spring of 2008.
The popularity of those events along with others that sprang up spontaneously around the country helped lead to the NCAA's Committee on Women's Athletics to recommend in the summer of 2008 that Sand Volleyball be added to the emerging sports list for women.
Earlier this week, representatives from NCAA Division I joined Division II, and approved a measure that places sand volleyball on the NCAA Emerging Sports List.
According to University of Florida head coach Mary Wise, an improvement in each team's level of play, consistent with each team's growing experience in the sport, was evident at this year's event.
"Today was a great day of beach volleyball," Wise said. "The weather couldn't have been better and it was great to see how much better the play around the league has gotten this year compared to last year. It was a great experience for everyone involved."
Fiesta on Siesta Key Event Co-Director David Carstenson echoed the sentiment of Wise adding: "what a glorious day with great volleyball action at the beach on Siesta Key, it's hopefully another step towards "sand" volleyball becoming an NCAA sanctioned sport".
For complete results and more information on the event, please log on to www.fiestaonsiestakey.com.
FIESTA ON SIESTA KEY CHAMPIONS
SEC Coaches Beach Volleyball Championships
Commissioner's Cup: South Carolina
Gold Division Champions: Tennessee (Marshall, Fowler)
Silver Division Champions: South Carolina (Denson-Dorman, Kujundzic)
Bronze Division Champions: Georgia (Dylla, Bahr)
Collegiate Beach Volleyball Challenge
Team Cup: South Florida, Notre Dame
Gold Division Champions: USF (Gurgel, Havlickova)
Silver Division Champions: UCF (Rex, Fischer)
Bronze Division Champions: USF (O'Connell, Palmer)