Santa Barbara City College has announced that it will become the first local college to offer sand volleyball as an official intercollegiate sport.
The Vaqueros, who now have 11 women’s sports to go with nine men’s programs, will start their season next month, with home matches set for the courts at East Beach.
“One of the main goals of our department is to offer programs that best serve the community,” Director of Athletics Rocco Constantino said. “There has always been a strong interest in intercollegiate women’s beach volleyball among our students, so it is a natural fit as part of our department.”
Beach volleyball is the fastest growing sport in the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA), with SBCC and Glendale joining the Western State Conference. Also in the league are defending champion Moorpark, Bakersfield, Ventura, Santa Monica and Victor Valley.
The CCCAA sanctioned the sport in 2015 and 34 schools fielded teams last year. Previous state champions are Irvine Valley (2015), Grossmont (2016), Mira Costa (2017) and Cabrillo (2018). Games consist of five matches between two-woman teams with best-of-three sets.
“Establishing an intercollegiate sand volleyball team benefits our students and athletic department in so many ways,” said Constantino. “The Santa Barbara community has a tremendous beach volleyball tradition and we are thrilled to be the first college in Santa Barbara to offer women’s sand volleyball as an intercollegiate sport.”
Samantha Calisto has coached the club team in recent years and she was named as the interim head coach for this season. Those interested in playing can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHAVERS WINS BIG WEST AWARD
Senior outside hitter Corey Chavers was named Big West Conference Player of the Week while Ryan Wilcox earned Freshman of the Week honors after leading ninth-ranked UCSB to wins over two top-10 teams.
It was the second Player of the Week award for Chavers, who had 19 kills and hit .441 with seven digs and four blocks in a five-set win over Lewis on Friday. Three of his blocks came down the stretch in the fifth set.
Chavers followed that up on Saturday with 20 kills and just one error on 40 attempts (.475) against No. 5 Loyola-Chicago. He’s been UCSB’s big gun during its four-game winning streak, averaging 19 kills per match.
Wilcox won his first Freshman of the Week Award after totaling 26 kills (2.89 per set) while hitting .286 in the two victories. He got 12 kills against Lewis and a career-high 14 against Loyola-Chicago.
Wilcox added four blocks and six digs against the Ramblers and finished with an ace and three digs against the Flyers.
UCSB (7-3) will put its four-game winning streak on the line against BYU on Friday at 7 p.m. in Robertson Gym.