(Walnut, CA) There's a new beach at Mt. San Antonio College. Well, it's missing the waves, the salty air, the sea life, the seagulls, etc.
Rather, it's the new home court for the Mt. SAC Beach Volleyball Team located on campus. "Mt. SAC Beach" is located near the baseball and softball complex at the South end of parking lot M.
The three-court facility is temporary, with the new permanent five-court complex due to be completed in two years. It will be located adjacent to the soccer fields.
There was 110 truckloads of sand, weighing 1,400 tons, that was dumped on the new location a few weeks ago and the team has been practicing there since. The team will make its "home beach" debut, Friday April 12 at 9:00 am for the final South Coast Conference match of the season against Rio Hondo.
The Mounties are just completing their second season, which improved greatly from last year.
Second-year Beach Volleyball coach Ali Carey-Oliver is ecstatic over the new digs about to be debuted for their first home match.
"The girls love the courts," Coach Carey-Oliver said. "It's awesome to be out there everyday and it's great that they're on our campus."
"We are so grateful to Matt Thatcher (Mt. SAC Facilities) and his team along with the sand court experts for making this project happen. Matt was very attentive and innovative when managing this special project. We are very appreciative of all he has done to create our fabulous facility."
Mt. SAC becomes the third So Cal team and second in the South Coast Conference to debut their home court this year. SCC foe El Camino reopened its home court at the beginning of the season. Fullerton, which is in the Orange Empire Conference, debuted its new on-campus facility last year.
Long Beach City College is the only team with an actual "home beach" court just minutes from campus at Granada Beach. They might have a small advantage against opponents since they practice in the ongoing wind conditions that may occur during a match.
Rio Hondo now is the only team in the SCC without a "home court."
"We're very excited about our Beach Volleyball Team, having a facility on campus that represents the excellent programs and support Mt. SAC provides for it's students," Mt. SAC Dean/Athletic Director Joe Jennum said. "We want to thank Dr. Scroggins (Mt. SAC President), the Board and the Facilities team, especially Matt Thatcher, for making it happen."
"Our team had been (practicing) on one sand court in a local park, which was far from ideal. What we now have, even as a temporary facility, is something to be proud of."
Women's beach volleyball is becoming one of the fastest growing sports on the West Coast. In the CCCAA, the number of teams competing has gone from 15 teams in its inaugural season in 2015 to 24 squads in 2016, and now 36 teams in the state. Twenty-five of those teams are in Southern California.
Follow Mt. SAC Women's Volleyball on Twitter @MtSAC_BeachVB
For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.