Excitement building for May 4-6 NCAA Beach Volleyball Championships
South Carolina, FSU, LSU, Georgia State, FIU in hunt for 3 East Region slots
The South Carolina beach volleyball team defeated LSU for the first time in program history this spring to all but secure a spot in the 2018 NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship scheduled May 4-6 at Gulf Shores Public Beach.
The top three teams from the East Region and the top three teams from the West Region earn automatic slots in the championship. The remaining two teams will be selected at-large by the NCAA Women’s Beach Volleyball Committee. Currently, No. 7. Florida State, No. 8 LSU, and No. 9 South Carolina would represent the East Region. But No. 10 Florida International, No. 11 Georgia State are also very much in the hunt for a berth, with No. 17 Stetson and No. 18 Florida Atlantic well behind the top four. Tulane, UAB and Florida Gulf Coast were the other East Region teams receiving votes in the most recent rankings.
The top 5 teams in the country are all from the West Region: No. 1. UCLA, No. 2 Pepperdine, No. 3 Hawaii, No. 4. Southern Cal and No. 5 Cal Poly.
There are 69 colleges eligible to compete in the national championship, with the eight-team bracket playing in a double-elimination format. Teams will consist of five pairs of players. The first team to win three of five matches will be the winner.
The first and second rounds will be conducted on Friday, May 4, with winning teams advancing in the championship bracket and losing teams moving to the elimination bracket. The first elimination round will also be conducted Friday, with winning teams advancing.
On Saturday, May 5 the second and third elimination rounds will be conducted with winning teams advancing. These will be followed by the third round match of the championship bracket with the winning team advancing to the national championship match and the losing team moving to the elimination bracket.
On Sunday, the final match of the elimination bracket will be conducted with winning team advancing to the Championship match. The National Championship match will be held later on Sunday.
Tickets for the tourney on sale at eventbrite.com. All-session general admission tickets are $45. All session courtside seating is $75 and all session NCAA Experience tickets are $200 and available through eventbrite.
The National Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championship was named the NCAA’s 90th and national championship in 2016, with Southern Cal winning the historic first title and then repeating in Gulf Shores last May.
ESPN will televise the event for the next five years, spanning 2018 through 2022.
Beach volleyball is the fastest-growing NCAA sport, and there are currently 1,000 Beach Volleyball student-athletes across the country. LSU has been fielding a team since 2014 and went 27-8 under head coach Russell Brock last year. ESPN will provide live whip-around coverage of every match throughout the tournament across the ESPN family of networks. Additionally, ESPN 3 will provide full coverage of every individual match from all five courts.