HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawaii has a new sport, the Athletics Department Monday announced the addition of sand volleyball beginning in 2011-12.
UH will be one of the first schools nationwide to compete in sand volleyball, recognized by the NCAA as an emerging women's Division I sport.
"Sand volleyball is the perfect addition to complement our very competitive indoor program," said Marilyn Moniz-Kahoohanohano, Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator. "The combination will ensure that elite players consider us the top attraction in the nation. We have the best island environment and the talent to develop this at the highest level. We are looking forward to the opportunities it presents to the players to excel indoors and outdoors in our most popular sport for women's volleyball. With Head Coach Scott Wong and his great background in beach volleyball, we are in for a lot of fun."
Wong, who is the associate head coach with the indoor team, will serve as the inaugural head coach. Competition begins in March and ends in May.
"I'm honored that (Athletics Director) Jim Donovan had the confidence in me to start this sand volleyball program and I'm excited about this opportunity to coach the young women who are going to represent the university and state of Hawai'i," Wong said. "Our goal is to be the best and to build this team into a championship-caliber program."
Indoor volleyball and sand volleyball will operate as a combined program. There will be at least 14 players on the team and in the beginning of the sand volleyball program development, the bulk of the players will be the members of the indoor volleyball team.
As of June, a total of 14 schools have committed to field a sand volleyball program including West Coast schools Long Beach State, Pepperdine, and USC.
The team will play the 2012 season at an off-campus site to be determined.
Two competition courts are projected to be built by the end of 2012 in the Clarence T.C. Ching Complex and two additional practice courts adjacent to the complex will also be added by the end of 2012.