University to add sand volleyball as a sport in 2013

By Rico Albarracin/ Assistant Sports Director
The University is making some moves to their current sports program, along with a new face to an already established sport.According to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) website, FIU will be one of 17 schools adding sand volleyball to their respective programs. FIU will begin competition in the Spring of 2013.

FIU has also named Rita Buck-Crockett as head coach of the new program, which will compete as a spring sport at the NCAA Division I level, increasing the Panthers’ intercollegiate-sport count to 18.

“We’re extremely pleased to bring in a coach with the level of experience like Rita Buck-Crockett has,” Executive Director of Sports and Entertainment Pete Garcia said. “As a program, we’re very excited to be a part of this new intercollegiate sport and we expect to be competitive right away.”

Buck-Crockett, a former Olympic medalist with over 30 years of professional experience as both a player and coach, will lead the program as head coach and Assistant Director of Athletics for Volleyball Operations.

“I’m very honored and excited to become a part of the FIU Athletics Department as an assistant AD and Head Sand Volleyball Coach,” Buck-Crockett said. “I look forward to leading our sand volleyball program to a National Championship and helping to get the indoor volleyball program to the next level.”

Although FIU will not begin Division-I play until 2013, the University will participate in a tournament called “Clash of the Collegians” on March 8-9, 2012 in Winter Haven Fl. According to the Florida State Seminoles sports website, FIU will be one of seven teams playing in the tournament, including Sun Belt rival Florida Atlantic.

The Panthers will field five doubles teams that will compete in best-of-three matches to 21, with the tie-breaker being played to 15. All sets are rally-scoring and must be won by two points.

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