Women’s sand volleyball to be the newest athletic program at TCU

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    In 2015, the long jump pits at the Lowdon Track and Field Complex won’t be the only place you’ll find Horned Frogs in the sand.

    TCU Sand Volleyball is set kick off its inaugural season this spring.

    Along with the University of New Mexico, the University of New Orleans and the University of Portland, TCU is set to join the ranks of the Division I schools offering sand volleyball opportunities for the first time.

    After gathering 40 sponsoring institutions in January 2014, NCAA has begun the transition from an emerging sport status to a championship sport.

    After the transition is complete, which could take two years, the NCAA will sponsor the national championship.

    “As part of our concerted effort to stay compliant with Title IX regulations, we’re proud to add to our women’s athletics program,” TCU director of intercollegiate athletics Chris Del Conte said. “We are excited about the opportunities this will provide for young women to become student-athletes and compete on the NCAA Division I level.”

    According to the AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals) website, the first NCAA sand volleyball championship will be held in the spring of 2016. Participants from all three collegiate divisions will compete.

    A sand volleyball committee would be established immediately after the proposal is approved to organize the championship and select the first participants next year.

    Junior economics major Christian Lui said the TCU women’s sand volleyball team will have large fan base to back them during their inaugural season in March 2015.

    “I’m excited,” Lui said. “Coming from Hawaii and playing a lot of competitive sand volleyball, I think it’s important we show support, so that the sport can grow.”

    Treasurer of the men’s sand volleyball intramural team at TCU, Lui said that implementation of the sport will help both the indoor and sand volleyball recruiting process.

    Women’s indoor and sand volleyball head coach Prentice Lewis said she would not answer any questions regarding the team until the indoor season concludes.