Georgia State is adding women’s sand volleyball to its group of sports for the 2013 spring season.
The team is the first of at least two that will be added as part of the university’s efforts to remain Title IX compliant because of the addition of football.
“To have a year-round volleyball opportunity, we thought would be terrific,” Levick said.
The addition has been in the works since shortly after Levick was hired in 2009. In deciding on sand volleyball, Levick said she factored in the students’ interest, the regional interest, a team’s ability to successful, and the bonus that it can be played on campus. Three outdoor courts will be constructed near the Georgia State Sports Arena, beside Piedmont Ave.
Georgia State will commission a student-body survey, which will be done this year, to aid in the process of deciding the next sport. Lacrosse, crew, and stunts and tumbling, another emerging sport, are being considered. There is no timetable for that addition.
Sand volleyball is considered to be an NCAA emerging sport, which means its new to the scene. Fifteen teams play the sport, according to the American Volleyball Coaches Association website, with several more considering it for 2011-12 season. Those programs include Florida State, College of Charleston, Jacksonville, North Florida, UAB, Tulane, Mercer, Florida Atlantic and Florida International. Most of the remaining schools are on the west coast. No teams in the Colonial Athletic Association play the sport.
The estimated start-up cost for the sand volleyball team is $1.5 million. The student-fee increased that helps pay for the football team also helps pay for the volleyball team.
The team will have four scholarships that can be given to between 12-15 players.
Levick said there likely will be very little overlap in the players on the court volleyball team also competing on the sand volleyball team. The team has already hired an assistant coach, Beth Van Fleet, who played court volleyball at Georgia State before playing beach volleyball professionally. She is currently recruiting in the southeast, where numerous club teams play. Court volleyball coach Tami Audia will also coach the sand volleyball team.