Hendrix College, a Division III school in Conway, Arkansas, has announced the addition of a women’s beach volleyball program to their varsity offerings. Beach volleyball will become the 22nd varsity sport at the college, and it makes the school just the 4th Division III program to add a new beach volleyball team since the NCAA began offering championships in 2016. Hendrix’s first beach season will be in the spring of 2020.
Editor’s Note: The NCAA doesn’t have a separate beach volleyball championship for Division II or Division III schools. All NCAA member schools compete in the “College” division.
The school recently hired Brittany Newberry to lead the indoor team, which as recently as 2015 played in the Division III national semi-finals. She brought on alumni M.C. Rogers (class of 2016) as an assistant coach for the indoor team, and Rogers will also act as head coach of the beach team.
After finishing her indoor career at Hendrix, Rogers transferred to play beach at nearby University of Central Arkansas while she worked on a master’s degree in college student personnel services and administration. Central Arkansas is the only other NCAA beach team in the state.
Beach volleyball is the fastest-growing NCAA sport, which is attributed largely to the low costs of running a program, the overlap on athletes with indoor volleyball (especially for new programs), and its increasing popularity outside of its traditional homes in California and Florida.