The University of North Alabama has begun a change in their NCAA sports offering by including beach volleyball into the lineup for the 2018-19 academic year.
This means that the beach program will have a year to bring in athletes with the teams first serves to take place in the 2019 season. With the addition of beach volleyball as well as women’s golf, the school drops women’s indoor and outdoor track, which has been a part of the school since the 2013 season.
“We feel the addition of women’s golf and beach volleyball will allow us to be more competitive at the Division I level than we would have been in women’s indoor and outdoor track,” said UNA Athletic Director Mark Linder. “Beach volleyball is an emerging NCAA sport that has gained a lot of interest and popularity in recent years. With the success of our indoor volleyball program and its popularity, we feel we can have a competitive and successful beach program as well.”
The school’s current indoor coach, Stephanie Radecki will transition into coaching the beach team as well. This season, Radecki coached the Lions to a 27-8 overall record and to the Gulf South Conference runner-up in 2017. The team ended their season with a four-set loss to Saint Leo in the NCAA South Regional Tournament.
This is North Alabama’s last season as a Division II competitor and will transition to Division I in the fall of 2018 and move to the ASUN conference.