Newly formed Texas Beach Volleyball first practice

Texas Beach Volleyball practice - Day 1
Newly formed Texas Beach Volleyball have their first practice where 15 athletes came out. (photo Horns Illustrated)

AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas has launched their 21st sports team, Texas Beach Volleyball. 

"We've been discussing this for a while and are thrilled to be adding this fast-paced and exciting sport to our athletics programs," said UT Vice President and Athletics Director Chris Del Conte. "Year in and year out, we have one of the premier Volleyball programs in the country, and adding Beach Volleyball will help us to continue to strengthen that. The year-round competition in a sport that attracts some of the best student-athletes in the country will be an invaluable resource for Coach Elliott and our Volleyball program, while enhancing our athletics program overall. We look forward to getting things started this spring and steadily growing in this sport in the years to come."

Next season, there will be a place designated for matches to be placed on the 40 Acres. The 2023 season the Longhorns will have a limited season of 14 matches played in Hawaii at Queens Beach and Manoa, then to Long Beach, Ca, and concluding in Fort Worth, Texas at TCU. 

Watch video with a few matches and hear from acting coach Erik Sullivan.

This season’s Beach Volleyball acting head coach is Erik Sullivan who has been part of Head Coach Jerritt Elliott’s team for the past 12 years and has been part of two National Championships, 11 Big 12 Championships. Before Texas, Sullivan coached at Nebraska and Colorado and served in the summer of 2011 as an assistant coach with the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team.

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Texas Longhorns Volleyball at TEAM SHOP

While a roster has not been established yet, most Texas Indoor Volleyball players want to play Beach Volleyball also. For the first practice 15 athletes came out led by Molly Phillips who has sand experience.

First match is Mar. 10 (Fri) at 1 p.m. at Queens Beach Hawaii against Hawaii.

History of Beach Volleyball

Beach Volleyball most likely originated in Waikiki Beach in Hawaii in 1915 at the Outrigger Canoe Club.  Back then there were six-person teams with two-person teams being started in Santa Monica, California in 1922. Two-player is played the most and considered the elite level of beach volleyball.

The NCAA first approved Beach Volleyball in 2009 followed by the first official season in 2011-2012.