UNCW joins a conference for beach volleyball

UNCW beach volleyball team beat Coastal Carolina on April 2, 2016. (Photo: Rodney Williams)

WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW) — UNCW Director of Athletics Jimmy Bass has announced that the Seahawk Beach Volleyball program will join the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA) this year (2016-17).

Official CCSA Release

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“We’re excited about joining a strong beach volleyball conference and giving our student-athletes an opportunity to compete for a championship,” said Bass.

UNCW is a charter member of the Colonial Athletic Association, but the league does not sponsor a championship in Beach Volleyball. The Seahawks competed as an independent in Beach Volleyball in their first season of play last spring.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to elevate our beach program and compete annually for a championship and d­­­own the road, hopefully, an NCAA tournament bid,” said UNCW Head Coach Amy Bambenek. “The rivalries created from being in a conference are extremely helpful in bringing out the competitive edge in our student-athletes, and also establishing UNCW as a top program in the Southeast region.”

The CCSA includes Georgia State, Tulane, FIU, FAU, UAB, Florida State, LSU, with the Seahawks and the College of Charleston joining the ranks this spring. The league will gain an automatic bid to the NCAA championship beginning with the 2018 season.

Florida State won the inaugural CCSA Beach Championship last spring and advanced to the NCAA Championship match before bowing to Southern Cal.

FSU (#3), Georgia State (#8) and LSU (#10) were ranked in the final AVCA Coaches Poll of the 2016 season.