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HomeSportsInstant Peay Play: APSU Beach Volleyball’s historic start begins this week

Instant Peay Play: APSU Beach Volleyball’s historic start begins this week

Instant Peay Play - APSU SportsClarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University will have its 16th collegiate sponsored sport kick-off its inaugural season this weekend in Birmingham, AL, with the start of Beach Volleyball’s 2017 regular season, at the UAB Blazer Duals.

Austin Peay will play New Orleans, Tulane and UAB in the program’s historic opening weekend.

The addition of beach volleyball is the first sport added by the Governors Athletic Department since women’s soccer played its first season in the fall of 2002, while also becoming the 10th overall women’s sports sponsored by the university.

Austin Peay Beach Volleyball Team. (APSU Sports Information)
Austin Peay Beach Volleyball Team. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay will join 21 other schools which are beginning their first beach volleyball season in 2017, bringing the total number of NCAA schools – at all three NCAA Divisions (I, II, III) to sponsor the sport.

In the state of Tennessee, the Govs will be joined by Lincoln Memorial, UT Martin and Middle Tennessee in beginning their first seasons in 2017, while Carson-Newman has fielded a team since the spring of 2015.

Current Ohio Valley Conference schools with beach volleyball teams are Austin Peay, UT Martin, Morehead State and Jacksonville State.

The beach volleyball development has been rapid within the NCAA ranks. First approved as an emerging sport for women – then called sand volleyball – in 2009, the sport quickly has ascended and prompting the NCAA to approve beach volleyball as its 90th championship during the September NCAA Convention.

The move from an emerging sport by the NCAA in 2009 to a NCAA championship sport in a five year span is one of the quickest in history.

For Austin Peay, the addition of beach volleyball seems to be a perfect fit with the current volleyball staff, head coach Taylor Mott and assistant coach Brian Netzler both having a background in the sport.

In a quote from Mott from the original release from the APSU Athletic Department, when they announced the addition of the sport.

“I can’t tell you how excited we are to add beach volleyball,” she said. “Beach volleyball has been a part of my life before I knew what indoor volleyball was. I was ecstatic when our president, Dr. (Alisa) White, and athletics director, Ryan Ivey, were in support of adding beach volleyball to provide more opportunities for women to become student-athletes at Austin Peay.”

While this first season will be played by players that are currently on the indoor volleyball roster, the future will see some players on future teams play only play indoor or outdoor, but not both.

Chris Austin
Chris Austinhttp://www.clarksvillesportsnetwork.com
Chris Austin is a graduate of Clarksville High School and Austin Peay State University. Chris is a former Head Softball Coach for APSU, and assistant basketball coach for CHS. Chris has worked at the Leaf-Chronicle, and WJZM News/Talk/Sports radio. Has also worked at the Sports Information Department at APSU, and has covered championship events for the Ohio Valley Conference and NCAA. Chris is an avid sports fan and can be found at most Austin Peay State University sports events.
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