The Island University Scores Sand Volleyball as a New Sport, Opens New Courts on the Momentum Campus

Published: June 12, 2015

The Island University Scores Sand Volleyball as a New Sport, Opens New Courts on the Momentum Campus

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas –Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi was proud to celebrate the addition of Sand Volleyball to its intercollegiate athletics program with a grand opening ceremony held on Friday, June 12, for the newly created courts at the Momentum Campus, inside the Dr. Jack Dugan Family Soccer and Track Stadium.

A short presentation by Dr. Flavius Killebrew, President/CEO of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi; Scott Lazenby, Director of Athletics; and Tony Graystone, Volleyball Head Coach, kicked off the ceremony. Student athletes then completed a “first serve,” which officially opened the courts.

“Sand volleyball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the nation and we are positioned perfectly to compete in this arena,” said Dr. Flavius Killebrew, President/CEO of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. “Our volleyball team is already very strong and the addition of sand volleyball allows our female athletes to expand their skills by playing throughout the year.”

The addition gives Islanders Athletics 16 sports competing at the Division I level. The program will be coached by the current Islanders Volleyball staff, under the direction of Head Coach Tony Graystone.

“Everywhere we go, from coaching clinics to the recruiting trail, everyone is talking about sand volleyball,” said Graystone. “It is going to be the next big sport in college athletics, and to have the support of the University to launch our program in its first year as an NCAA championship sport is a great statement to our current and future Islanders that we want to be on the front of the curve in the sport. This is an exciting day for our volleyball program.”

The sport provides additional opportunities for female volleyball players and is a perfect fit for our geographic area. The sand volleyball season runs during the spring, with the championships held in early May.

“We are excited to add a program that will be incredibly popular with both our community and our student-athletes,” said Scott Lazenby, Director of Athletics. “Our current and future volleyball players have universally been excited about being able to play sand volleyball in the spring along with indoor volleyball in the fall. It will further add to their experience as student-athletes at the Island University.”

The sport has not held an official NCAA championship to this point, but is slated to host its first official collegiate championship in the spring of 2016. It will become the 90th sport to hold an NCAA Championship.