History in the Making for DIII Beach Volleyball

History in the Making for DIII Beach Volleyball

Siesta Key, FL. – This past weekend, at the Fiesta on Siesta Key Collegiate Beach Volleyball tournament, history was made when the first two NCAA DIII schools to offer varsity beach volleyball programs competed, both in their inaugural season.

Stevenson University and Principia College are the only two NCAA DIII teams to add Beach Volleyball as a varsity sport in the first season that the NCAA has added it as an emerging sport.  Beach volleyball is the fastest-growing NCAA sport with 50 schools sponsoring it as of January 2015.  The NCAA rules require 40 sponsoring institutions to request an NCAA Championship.  This May, 2016, the first-ever NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship tournament will be held in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Both Principia and Stevenson have been playing DI, DII and NAIA teams all season, which kicks the teams into high-learning gear, always having to play against tough opponents.  Both teams also have the majority of their players coming from indoor volleyball, with only a few beach-only player additions. 

Stevenson University is in Owings Mills, Maryland, and has just over 4,100 total students enrolled at their University.  As an NCAA DIII University, Stevenson offers 27 sports, 13 men's sports and 14 women's sports. 

Principia College, located in Elsah, Illinois, has just under 500 students enrolled for the 2015-16 school year.  Principia offers 17 varsity programs, 8 men's programs and 9 women's programs.

Stevenson and Principia met on the last day of the Fiesta on Siesta tournament, matching up fairly evenly, as 3 out of the 5 matches went to the 3rd deciding set.  The Stevenson Mustangs came away with the win, with a final score of 4-1 over the Principia Panthers.