Missouri State Hits The Beach

SPRINGFIELD, Mo--Next spring, a brand new sport will debut at Missouri State.

In our Bear Nation report, a Missouri State alumna will bring the new sport from the west coast to Springfield.

What does Southern Cal, Hawaii and Missouri State have in common?

All those universities have a beach volleyball team.

The Bears just introduced Terri Del Conte as the team's first head coach.

"Being fresh and new.  Beach volleyball is just exciting.  It gets a lot of exposure from being a popular Olympic sport," said Del Conte.

A decade ago, Del Conte played for Missouri State's indoor volleyball team.

She went from Hammons Student Center to the beaches of her native California.

She's played in pro tournaments the last three years.

And will try to stay competitive while coaching the Beach Bears.

Del Conte:"That's the plan.  I'm going to juggle both and hope to get into the mix here with my players and with the community year round."

A beach volley team consists of five, two player teams that play a best two out of three game match.

The first team that wins three of those matches wins the event.

The venue's also different,  you play in sand.

"The sand itself is a game changer.  It'll gas you out much faster than indoor.  And you're constantly off balance and unstable.  It's a brand new element for sure," said Del Conte.

Del Conte will work with her one time indoor coach Melissa Stokes.

And says the two teams may share players.

Missouri State's beach volleyball team will play its first match next spring.

In the meantime, Del Conte needs to find players and build a schedule.

The one thing already in place is the venue.

The Allison beach volleyball courts are location on the southwest corner of the Hammons Student Center.

"The facility is awesome.  It's 1-2 feet deep, that's excellent.  You don't want it to be too shallow.  The sand felt reall good.  I love that it was outdoors.  Being outdoors really is where beach volleyball is," said Del Conte.

 


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