SBCC Adds Beach

January 11, 2019
Beginning this spring semester, Santa Barbara City College will be the first college in Santa Barbara to offer beach volleyball as an official intercollegiate sport, with the establishment of a women's beach volleyball team.

The season starts in February 2019, with home matches being played at East Beach.
 
“One of the main goals of our department is to offer programs that best serve the community,” said Director of Athletics Rocco Constantino. “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) and SBCC will be competing in the Western State Conference, which has a total of seven teams. Moorpark won last year's WSC title and other teams in the conference are Bakersfield, Ventura, Santa Monica, Victor Valley and Glendale (another new program).

The sport was established in 2015 at the Community College level and 34 schools fielded teams last year. Four schools have won the first four titles -- Irvine Valley (2015), Grossmont (2016), MiraCosta (2017) and Cabrillo (2018). Games consist of five matches between two-woman teams and they play best-of-3 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. Interested players can reach out to her for information about playing (sacalisto@pipeline.sbcc.edu).

According to Constantino, "It has been a true team effort to be able to offer this program. Our indoor volleyball coaches, Jon Newton and Ed Gover have provided valuable insight, and Ellen O’Connor [Associate Athletic Director] and Kathy O’Connor [Physical Education Department Chair] have done great work to support this. I can’t thank our administration, President/ Superintendent Dr. Beebe and Dr. Pamela Ralston [Executive Vice President of Educational Programs] enough for their support.

"The amount of work done was very detailed, and it wasn’t easy, but in the end this will benefit our students, and they are who we are here for. The SBCC Foundation was also a huge help in making this a reality for this season, and I cannot thank them enough for their support as well.”

SBCC now has 20 intercollegiate teams (11 women's, 9 men's) playing 12 sports. A fundraising campaign will be announced soon to help get the women's beach volleyball program off the ground.
 
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