March 12, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. - Long Beach State will debut its 19th sport tomorrow, as Sand Volleyball plays a historic first match against Loyola Marymount at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.
The 49ers will play this home match at the Campus Sand Courts, which are located behind the Campus Diamond and the 49er Softball Complex on the grounds of Long Beach State. Fans wishing to attend the match can come for free, and are encouraged to bring their own beach seating, as there are no grandstands around the courts, but plenty of room on the grass to watch the matches.
Parking is available in front of the Walter Pyramid in Lot 13, and the courts are just a short walk from there.
Head Coach Brian Gimmillaro leads the team into a schedule that begins on March 13, and ends with the USA Volleyball Sand Championships from April 27-29. Caitlin Ledoux and Tara Roenicke lead the 49ers into the match as the team's No. 1 pair. Ledoux and Roenicke have plenty of prior experience, including participating together in the 2009 FIVB Junior World Championships.
Other potential pairings include Tyler Jackson and Janisa Johnson, as well as Delainey Aigner-Swesey and Haleigh Hampton. However, all pairings other than Ledoux/Roenicke are up the air and may be decided as late as Tuesday.
Dual matches in college will work in a best of five format. Teams are ordered by level of skill 1 to 5, and will then face their counterparts from the other college, similar to college tennis. The winner of three matches will then earn the team victory in the match. With three courts, Long Beach State will set up the matches in three flights; playing 4 and 5 together, then 3, then 2 and 1 together.
LMU lost its first match last weekend, falling 5-0 to USC. The 49ers will join the group of around 16 teams participating in this first year of Sand Volleyball on Tuesday, and then travel to USC this weekend, where the Trojans are hosting a tournament with Pepperdine, Florida State, the Trojans and LBSU, where each team will face each other in a round-robin format. There will also likely be an individual tournament held as well, as the teams will be out on the beach for three days starting on Friday, March 16. The tournament will be held at the Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica, Calif.
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