FGCU Releases 2012 Sand Volleyball Schedule
Thursday, March 15, 2012 | by Mike Hill (@mike_hill84)

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Head Coach Dave Nichols has released the inaugural 2012 schedule for the FGCU sand volleyball program.

“Our schedule for our first season on sand volleyball should be an exciting one,” said Nichols. “We will be playing against some traditional opponents – five A-Sun teams that have committed to sand and also national powerhouses Florida State and USC. We are looking forward to our first match against Stetson, but we know that the whole format and environment is a brand new experience for our players. We have been training and conditioning extremely hard and we are looking forward to playing the first official sand match in FGCU history.”

The Eagles will compete in four dual matches and two tournaments prior to the Atlantic Sun Conference Championships.

The Green and Blue take to the sand for the first time on Saturday, March 17 at Stetson. The Eagles will then go to a 4-team tournament (Florida State, Stetson, USC) in Tallahassee, Fla., on March 24 and 25.

The first home match will be Friday, March 30 at 1:30 pm as the Eagles host the Hatters at the FGCU Sand Volleyball Complex, which is located between the FGCU Tennis Complex and Alico Arena. The Green and Blue will then host the Owls of FAU on Wednesday, April 11 at 2 p.m.

The final two regular season events of the year for FGCU will be in Siesta Key, Fla. On Friday, April 13 (12 p.m.) the Eagles will battle Tulane in a dual meet before they participate in the Fiesta on Siesta Key (April 13-14). The Fiesta is a prestigious annual competition on Siesta Key, Fla. that has drawn competition from top national and regional indoor volleyball teams looking to stay in shape in the spring "non-championship" seasoon.

Sand volleyball is in its first season on the list of NCAA Emerging Sports for Women; FGCU is one of five Atlantic Sun Conference schools (along with Jacksonville, North Florida, Stetson and Mercer) to adopt the sport in Year 1; as such the A-Sun will be the first NCAA Division I conference to sponsor a championship for the sport. The inaugural A-Sun Sand Volleyball Championships are set for April 21-22, 2012 at Jacksonville University (Dolphin Beach Volleyball Complex).

The format of competition for sand volleyball is dual matches with five doubles teams and/or tournament style with multiple opponents. The first team to win two out of three sets wins. Sets 1 and 2 will be played to 21 points rally scoring with the third set to 15 points rally scoring.