Pacific women's volleyball: Tigers To Play In The USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge
Heading to Colorado Springs, Colo. on Saturday, April 17, the Pacific women's volleyball team will send four athletes to participate in the second annual USA Volleyball Beach Collegiate Challenge. Seniors Mallori Gibson (Bakersfield, Calif.) andNatalia Tomaszewska (Marklowice, Poland) will team up with junior Svenja Engelhardt(Sinsheim, Germany) and sophomore Rebekah Torres (Waihawa, Hawaii) will represent the Tigers at the annual tournament.
The Colliegate Challenge is run in cooperation with the AVP and the Collegiate Division is open to current NCAA and NAIA women's volleyball programs with the intent of mimicking the new beach volleyball format that will be in place as an NCAA sport in the fall of 2010. Doubles teams are guaranteed three to four matches and the teams will be seeded according to NCAA rank and results of the 2009 AVP College National Championship and the USAV Beach Collegiate Challenge.
Last season in beach action, the Tigers took home the tournament championship at the Big West Beach Championships which was held over the weekend of May 2-3. Playing in the five team, four-a-side tournament, the Tigers took home first place after outlasting Long Beach State, who entered two teams, UC Irvine and UC Davis.
Gibson, Tomaszewska, Engelhardt and Torres all participated in the tournament for Pacific while they were also joined by senior Carly Hiromoto (Aiea, Hawaii).
In April of 2009, the NCAA approved "sand" volleyball as an emerging sport for women and cleared the way for varsity competition in 2010-11. The NCAA has spent the last year developing rules that will govern intercollegiate play, including regulations on financial aid, playing dates and recruiting.