The University of Maryland Eastern Shore will expand its athletic footprint from between the white lines to the beach.
Starting in 2022, UMES will add women’s beach volleyball to its roster of sports. “Women’s Beach Volleyball is a sport we have been looking at adding for some time,” said Director of Athletics Keith Davidson in a news release. “Being located here on ‘The Shore’ we see it as a natural fit to our department and a natural fit to our area. It is the fastest-growing sport in the NCAA and we believe with the strength of our indoor program that it makes sense to add it to our volleyball offerings.”
Currently, there are 81 schools in the NCAA that offer the sport. The NCAA holds a combined championship regardless of division. UMES expects that adding the program will not only serve to boost enrollment but attract new athletes to the university.
“Locally, there are many players who participate in beach volleyball in the summer, in clubs, or recreationally,” said women’s indoor volleyball coach Trevor Callarman said. “I think this will help keep some local athletes here as well as attract students to The Shore that we may have previously not been able to recruit.
“The indoor team will also benefit from the addition, as it will provide a chance for athletes to train in the sand in the offseason, an opportunity that has been shown to reduce injury and increase overall volleyball skill that will transfer to the indoor game.”