UNCW releases inaugural beach volleyball schedule for 2016


WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW) — UNCW head coach Amy Bambenek is pleased to announce the schedule for the beach volleyball program’s inaugural season. The slate includes eight events, opening on Mar. 5 and concludes with the NCAA Beach National Championships in Gulf Shores, Alabama, on May 6-8.

“Our coaches and players are very excited about what the future holds for our inaugural beach season,” said Bambenek. “We will have the opportunity to play a mix of teams that will also be first-year beach programs and teams that are in their third and fourth seasons of beach volleyball. Our team will have a lot to learn in a short amount of time before our first tournament, but this is such a great opportunity for our players and program as a whole.”

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The Seahawks open the season in DeLand, Fla., on Mar. 5-6 at the Stetson Spring Break Tournament hosted by Stetson University. Scheduled to compete along with the Seahawks at the tournament are Eckerd, Carson-Newman, Spring Hill, College of Charleston, Tulane and the Hatters.

UNCW will stay in the Sunshine State and face both North Florida and Jacksonville, in Jacksonville, on Mar. 8, in a pair of dual matches.

The Seahawks wrap up the month of March at the CofC Sand Classic (Mar. 19-20) and Georgia State Grand Slam (Mar. 25-26).

UNCW will host its lone home event on the weekend of Apr. 2-3 at Dig and Dive. Teams and format will be announced at a later date.

On Apr. 9-10, UNCW will compete at the Fiesta on Siesta Key tournament in Siesta, Fla., and closes out the regular season at the Palmetto Invitational (Apr. 16-17) hosted by South Carolina.

Beach Volleyball became the 90th championship offered by the NCAA in the fall of 2015. At the Division I level, 49 schools offer the sport at the varsity level. UNCW added the program to its portfolio on July 1, 2015, and made its debut in the fall at the College Sand Clash hosted by Georgia State in Atlanta in November.