Beach volleyball: UVA installs two new courts near Lawn

news-sandvolleyball-mThe two new courts on August 30, a few days after the sand was poured.

Been by UVA's Snyder Tennis Center lately? There are two new courts in the making, but they aren't tennis courts. They're volleyball courts, of the sand variety. And the coach of the women's volleyball team thinks they'll propel his program to new heights–- even when his ladies aren't leaping for a spike.

"We're big proponents of sand volleyball because of all the positive effects it will have on indoor athletes," says Head Coach Lee Maes. "It gives the varsity team a chance to cross-train."

But there's another reason for the courts, located along busy University Avenue: visibility. UVA's been fielding a team in the Olympic sport of indoor volleyball since 1979, but Coach Maes says that not everybody seems to know that.

So last spring, this coach, who was hired in 2008, received a marketing report from some students in UVA's undergraduate business school. A hitherto underutilized corner of Nameless Field was chosen, and after some "generous donations" including $40,000 just for the sand (a blend called "the Fort Myers mix"), the courts should be ready for play by this weekend, says Coach Maes. He says that lighting, audio, a scoreboard, and even an outdoor shower will be installed during the coming weeks.

"We want the community–- the students and faculty–- to use it," says Coach Maes. "If you build it, they will come." Meanwhile, his team, which suffered a losing season last year, has started the fall season with a bang by winning all three of its season-opening games–- with three more slated for this weekend in Charlottesville. All home games are played in nearby Memorial Gym on Emmet Street, the historic mid-20th century headquarters of the men's basketball team.

Left unsaid (and unasked) is what the UVA players will wear while frolicking in the sand within sight of cars and pedestrians. ESPN reports that the lithe figures and bikinis worn by female beach volleyball players have made the sport one of Olympic television's most popular spectacles. The UVA coach seems more interested in filling up Mem Gym, which has a capacity just under 1,000.

"Our goal," says Coach Maes, "is to sell out every volleyball match, and that starts with awareness."

–12:04pm update: story clarified to show that UVA fields an indoor volleyball team

Read more on: uva volleyball team


prainva... so it was donated and someone wrote the donation off their TAXES which means the govenment paid 40 cents on the dollar which means we still paid 16000 dollars for SAND.

Facts are such TIDY things sometimes.

By the way all of the rest of the "private" money is donated too.

Nobody rides for free.

The volleyball coach needs to go back to where he came from or some place else. We don't need him that's for sure!

A great use of education money, which is suppose to be short?

I remember going to volleyball games at Mem Gym in the 80s when Deb Tyson was coach. Havent been recently though.
Its a great sport, but like some of the other non-revenue and women's sports doesnt draw a lot of attention and coverage.

Also, this quote:

"ââ?¬Å?We’re big proponents of sand volleyball because of all the positive effects it will have on indoor athletes,” says Head coach Lee Maes. ââ?¬Å?It gives the varsity team a chance to cross-train.”

But there’s another reason for the courts, located along busy University Avenue: visibility. UVA’s been fielding a team in this Olympic sport since 1979, but Coach Maes says that not everybody seems to know that."

makes it sounds as though U.Va. has had fielded a team in beach volleyball, which is also an Olympic sport, since 1979.

Not mud bowl but sand bowl- this looks like fun, wondering if "the community" could mean more than just UVA. And yes, I know a few spectators that will be lined up to watch more than just the ball.

@Yes, Be patient, you may get that for which you wish.

40.000 bucks just for sand... sounds like good govenment spending at its finest....

Perhaps they could have just pulled some from the beaches the county closed this week to save 20,000.

This article is useless without one of Hawes's trademark slideshows of bikini beauties.

Very old timer, READ THE ARTICLE. The $40k for the sand was DONATED (i.e., private) money. But don't let that get in the way of the the knee-jerk point you were trying to make.

Facts are such untidy things, aren't they?

Did y'all not see the words "generous donations"? What makes anyone think this is "government spending" or "education money"?

@Yes: I clarified the point that UVA fields an indoor volleyball team.--hawes spencer

Well I guess the term "pound sand" can have a gps location on grounds.

When I was in school I used to work out in the basement of Mem Gym after class, and then run around the indoor minitrack they have above the basketball courts. Usually the volleyball team would be in their practicing at the same time...quite the scenery/motivation to help you keep running.


If the state needs to raise my taxes to make up for the 16000 dollars they gave to the guy who donated the sand how is that not my money?

My complaint is not the vollyball court, I like boobs as much as the next guy....

I just know that if a private compnany wanted to get it done they would have the entire job done for 16k.

Including the outdoor shower....

Times are tough and still they keep spending money and are now looking for the right to set tuition so they can spend more.

Where will it end?

Remember UVA gets HALF its income from PROFIT from the hospital.

So when you have your gall bladder removed you can at least be glad that some kid was able to have designer sand to play vollyball on(or puke in) because of your misfortune.

Very old timer,

You are so full of s--- your eyes are brown.

The money is NOT coming from taxes, tuition, or hospital profits. It was given to the University. Now, there may be a tax deduction involved somehow, but something tells me that people who can afford to give away $40K will probably find a way to shelter those assets anyway.

So, in your humble opinion, if the volleyball coach wanted to build a sand volleyball court, just how should he go about doing it? Isn't raising the money yourself the MOST responsible way of doing it?

I think you were just primed to take a potshot at the big ol' fatcat U, and you were going to do it, come hell or high water -- whether or not the facts supported your inclination.


It is not your money. You don't have a right to it.

Dear Chris
Did you even READ the article.. they brought up girls in bikinis.

and its only a sandbox till a local stray cat finds it.....

Should I replace the word coed with "spoiled lttle rich girls whos fathers would cringe if they knew what they did last night"?

Why are there always "generous donors" for sports arenas and sport facilities but not for the arts at UVa?

Beach Volleyball? What a ridiculous place we live in. Did someone in funding allocation get a major bump on the head?

Well as long as it will produce "all the positive effects it will have on indoor athletes" then I guess we should be forever thankful that not a penny is being wasted frivolously during this economic great depression.

Next-up: Two million dollar grant to study the effects of skin cancer on indoor athletes in thongs.

The town's stay cats will see the sand volleyball court as a litter box.

If Volleyball is getting private donations, they should be forced to share them with the wrestling program. A few years back, Wrestling received a large donation but were force to share it with Volleyball.

Can't the wrestlers wrestle in the sand? They'd be like gladiators.

you are correct. Beach wrestling is now an Olympic Sport. If you have never been to a match, they are definitely gladiators.

That's not exactly near the Lawn. It's near the Lawn insofar as it's still on Grounds but it's really near Memorial Gym or the libraries or even the Cavalier Inn.

I haven't been up there in a while but there used to be sand lot volleyball courts adjacent to a basketball court next to the new dorms on Alderman Rd. across from Slaughter Rec. They may be gone with the new construction on dorms.

Are the "generous donations" going to pay for the upkeep of this litterbox?

Or is that money going to come from panhandling coeds in bikinis holding up signs that say "will bounce for sand"

And the 40k was just for the sand... I would like to see what the entire project cost and who really paid for it.

Does anyone say "coed" anymore?

Are you actually attempting to take a moral high road on expenditures while being so completely and ridiculously sexist?

Also, clearly "sandbox" not "litterbox," sheesh.

Winter, naked beach volleyball..............can't wait! NCAA Div I here we come!

Loosing season? You're fired! No, let's try it outside in the sand...


Your reply shows me that I completely mis-read your initial post. You are obviously a fair-minded person of deep thought.

We'll see if the team improves. So far during the last 2 years the team has done worse than the previous coach's team.

cuz the arts are gay