February 11, 2011

Lions Head to the Beach to Compete in the Florida Coaches Beach Volleyball Championships

Saint Leo Joins Seven Other SSC Schools on April 9th

SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo volleyball team will head away from the hardwood and onto the beach as the Lions will compete in the fourth annual Florida Coaches Beach Volleyball Championships.  The event, taking place at the Orlando Sports Center in Orlando, Fla. is scheduled to be contested on April 9, 2011 and will feature eight of the nine Sunshine State Conference schools during an entire day of competition.

"The beach volleyball tournament is a great annual event for our conference as it tests our team's athleticism, overall volleyball skills and demonstrates which team is the most well rounded," Head Coach Sam Cibrone said when asked of the excitement that builds behind this tournament.  "I am a huge beach player, so I love this side of the game!"

Teams will open the tournament in pool play format with all teams advancing to tiered playoffs based on their finishing order within the group.

Beach volleyball was introduced to the collegiate scene by CBS College Sports with the first Collegiate Nationals in the spring of 2007, a successful event that is now in its fifth season. The coaches of the Sunshine State Conference followed with their beach tournament in the spring of 2008.  Coaches within the Division I Southeastern Conference also started a beach tournament of their own that same season.

The popularity of those events, along with others that sprang up spontaneously around the country helped lead to the NCAA's Committee on Women's Athletics to recommend in the summer of 2008 that Sand Volleyball be added to the emerging sports list for females.

"We are thrilled that the schools in Florida have decided to contest their event at OSC" said tournament director David Carstenson.  "The event will be a celebration of collegiate beach volleyball with the Lions joining national runner-up Tampa, Eckerd, Barry, Nova Southeastern, Rollins, Florida Tech, and Lynn contesting their (unofficial) beach championships here.  Due to NCAA rules on spring play, the entire event will take place on one day, and what a day it will be."