The AVCA, in partnership with the Florida Region of USA Volleyball, is poised to host the second annual AVCA Small College Beach Championships on April 19-21, 2019. Following the success of the inaugural event in 2018, the event is back with an expanded field of participants and a format that will utilize all 21 of the professional-grade courts available at the complex.
The event generated increased interest from college beach teams and the experience all but ensured a return visit to the sunny sands of Tavares, FL, bolstered by a newly constructed beach volleyball complex at Hickory Point Beach. The new facilities are state-of-the-art, featuring a 4,000-square-foot Athletics Center, allowing athletes access to locker rooms, a training room, clubhouse, officials room, covered pavilion, concession stand, and new public restrooms.
“The growth of college beach volleyball from zero to 120 teams in just eight years has made for a rich environment for cities and organizations interested in new events,” said AVCA executive director, Kathy DeBoer. “We are grateful for our partners in the Florida Region, the city of Tavares and for Baden Sports, all of whom are helping create a championship experience for these teams.”
The 2019 edition of the Small College Beach Championships will feature 11 teams from NCAA Divisions II and III competing for a championship, as well as an 8-team division comprised of teams that compete in the NAIA.
In addition to championships for both divisions, the AVCA will host a “best-of-the-rest” pairs tournament on Friday, April 19, which will be open to all athletes traveling with their teams but not competing in flights 1-5.
“Partnering with the AVCA to host the 2nd annual Small College Beach Championships at Hickory Point Beach in Central Florida is an honor. We specifically designed and built this 21-court championship caliber complex for events like this one. The recent addition of the Athletics Center will make the experience even more enjoyable for teams and spectators. It is exciting to see the college beach game continue to grow. My hope is that an event such as this one will serve as a catalyst for continued growth in colleges and high schools across the country. We look forward to hosting the 20 colleges that will descend on Hickory Point and we invite beach volleyball fans of all ages to come and enjoy the weekend.”
The $1.8 million dollars invested in renovations are part of an ongoing effort by Lake County officials to drive tourism, encouraging overnight visitors to spend time in Tavares – particularly for beach volleyball events. Hickory Point has hosted more than 54 volleyball events since opening in 2014 and is poised to see that number increase as players and coaches get a chance to see the facilities for themselves.
The first AVCA Small College Beach Championships took place over April 7-8, 2018 and featured 14 schools from around the country. Representatives from NCAA Division II and III, as well as the NAIA and
the CCCAA, competed for titles in two divisions. Texas A&M Kingsville claimed the DII-III Championship, defeating Eckerd College for the title.
Webber International emerged victoriously from the NAIA/CCCAA division, defeating Stevenson in their championship match. Both champions will be returning to Tavares to compete in the 2019 event.
The AVCA Small College Beach Championships offer an exciting, fan-friendly atmosphere throughout the weekend. There is no cost for admission and ample free on-site parking. Matches will be running continuously throughout all three days of the event, beginning at 9 AM on Friday morning. There will be vendors on site, including ball sponsor, Baden, a variety of food trucks as well as a concession stand, some bleacher seating, and renovated bathroom facilities. Spectators are encouraged to bring their own chairs or towels.
When: April 19-21, 2019
Where: Hickory Point Beach Recreational Facility, Tavares, FL.
Admission: Free (on-site parking included)