The sport of beach volleyball is being added to LaGrange College's women's athletic teams, joining basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis and volleyball.
"Beach volleyball is an emerging collegiate sport for women," said Jennifer Claybrook, Athletics Director. "This will complement our established volleyball program, provide an exciting new addition to our women's sports teams—and allow more young women to enjoy the 70-plus academic programs available at LaGrange."
The NCAA reports beach volleyball has made the fastest transition from an emerging sport to a championship sport in NCAA history. It is also the fastest growing NCAA sport in Division I over the last five years. Since its inaugural year in 2012, the growth in beach volleyball programs has exceeded 150 percent.
The inaugural season for the Panthers' Division III beach volleyball team will be in spring 2020. Present volleyball coach Madison Machurek also will head up the beach volleyball team.
"It is an honor to be named the first beach volleyball coach for LaGrange College. I know that the sport's addition will create valuable opportunities for the young women representing the Panthers," said Machurek.
"The unique dynamic of this sport will challenge our athletes to maintain mental toughness, leadership skills, and effective communication. I am eager to watch this new sport increase the competitive edge of LaGrange volleyball. This sport will be an exciting addition for our fans. Thank you, LaGrange College, for this opportunity."