CSUB sand volleyball joins Big West Conference

Esteban Ramirez

Editor-in-Chief

After coming off its best season since the program’s start in 2012, the CSU Bakersfield sand volleyball team will now get to play in a conference as the Roadrunners will join the Big West Conference for the 2016 season, which will also be the first year the NCAA will have a sand volleyball championship tournament.
CSUB will join Sacramento State, Cal Poly, University of Hawaii, CSU Northridge and Long Beach State in the Big West. The Roadrunners will look to make the inaugural NCAA tournament by winning a six-team double-elimination Big West Tournament, which the date and time has yet to be determined.

Senior Danika Youngblood serves a ball in a match at the Student Recreation Center Barnes Beach Volleyball Complex on March 7. Photo by Janeane Williams/The Runner
Senior Danika Youngblood serves a ball in a match at the Student Recreation Center Barnes Beach Volleyball Complex on March 7.
Photo by Janeane Williams/The Runner

“We are thrilled to join the Big West as an affiliate member in sand volleyball,” CSUB interim athletics director Kenneth Siegfried said to gorunners.com. “This is an important next step as sand volleyball will now have a full-fledged NCAA championship beginning in spring of 2016.
“Our team has a lot to be proud [of] in our first few years which includes being ranked in the top 20 at the end of this year and building one of the premier facilities in the nation.”
CSUB finished the 2015 season with an 11-7 overall record and finished the year ranked No. 20 in the “Dig Magazine” Top 20 poll. Future Big West opponent, Long Beach State (17-7), finished the 2015 season ranked second in both the AVCA Top 10 poll and the “Dig Magazine” Top 20 poll. Hawai’I (18-3) was fourth in the “Dig Magazine” Top 20 poll and fifth in the AVCA Top 10 poll.
“It is an exciting time for the Roadrunners,” CSUB head coach Olivia Simko said to gorunners.com. “The Big West is an incredibly competitive conference and we are honored to be a part of it. Our team trains very hard and I am so happy to see opportunities like these that allow them to continue to prove themselves.”
Big West Commissioner Dennis Farrell added that the conference is eager to start this new venture in the sport of sand volleyball.
“The growing popularity of sand volleyball is evident and we look forward to watching these six institutions compete for NCAA Championships,” he said to gorunners.com. “The Big West also welcomes Bakersfield and Sacramento State to the fold as they help raise the overall profile of this newly formed conference sport.”