Stevenson University Launches 1st NCAA Men's Beach Volleyball Program

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Stevenson University has 29 Division III teams, now including men's beach volleyball. (Elizabeth Janney/Patch)

OWINGS MILLS, MD — The athletics department at Stevenson University made history this week. It announced the launch of the men’s beach volleyball program as an NCAA Division III sport, making it the first in the nation to do so.

"The growth of our women's NCAA beach volleyball program has shown us the excitement and demand," Stevenson Director of Athletics Brett Adams said in a statement. "We think now is the time to be on the forefront and develop a men's varsity program as well."

The women's beach volleyball program launched as a Division III sport in 2016.

"Women's beach volleyball made the quickest transition from an emerging sport to a championship sport in NCAA history," Kathy DeBoer, executive director of the American Volleyball Coaches Association, said in a statement. "While the NCAA currently has no emerging sports process for men's beach volleyball, we believe the momentum is there to reach 50 or more varsity programs over the next few years and transition this to an NCAA Championship sport."

At Stevenson University, the men's indoor volleyball program started in 2002. 

The men's beach volleyball program will kick off in the fall, competing against collegiate club teams and those in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

"At Stevenson, we have always taken an entrepreneurial approach to enhancing academic, co-curricular, and athletic opportunities for students," Stevenson University President Elliot Hirshman said in a statement. 

"From launching new academic programs in biomedical engineering and healthcare management to campus expansions such as our Zaffere Library and our Owings Mills East campus sports complex opening this fall, we are committed to offering students exceptional experiences in and out of the classroom," Hirshman said. "The recent addition of acrobatics and tumbling to our NCAA athletics program and now men's beach volleyball as a varsity program are clear signs of this momentum."

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