LSU Beach Volleyball Stadium Officially Opens
Communications Student Assistant
BATON ROUGE – Collegiate Beach Volleyball’s premiere venue was unveiled to the media on Monday in the heart of LSU’s campus.
“Thank you guys for coming out,” LSU President F. King Alexander remarked. “This is a great facility and it’s going to be a great, popular sport for everybody to watch and participate in.”
“This turns out to be the greatest beach volleyball venue in the country,” said LSU Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics, Joe Alleva. “It’s so nice that we’re able to revamp this facility and make it a new home for you ladies.
“I look forward to coming out here. This should be a great venue, and it will be the envy of every beach team in the country.”
The revitalization of the previous tennis facility, originally built in 1970, will give the Tigers every opportunity they need to continue growing to new heights. For the past two seasons LSU has finished as a top-eight team, earning the opportunity to compete for the national championship at Gulf Shores. The Tigers have appeared in the AVCA Top-10 for 24 consecutive weeks, dating back to 2017.
“This new stadium gives us the opportunity to be better than we could have been without it,” said LSU head coach Russell Brock. “That’s the advantage that we have now. We can push towards our potential. We have an unbelievable place to continue to train.”
“We’re just blessed to be given this opportunity. It speaks to LSU and the trust they have with us,” said junior Kristen Nuss, who along with fellow junior Claire Coppola won the USAV Collegiate Beach Championship in May. “They know we can be national champions and this facility gives us more of an opportunity.”
The new stadium features six competition courts with 24-inch deep sand. After working with a sand consultant, LSU found a sand pit just 45 miles from campus that matched perfectly for the composition it was looking for. The courts are state-of-the-art in sand permeability subsurface drainage and sand quality with a smooth sand to concrete transition. They feature an underground irrigation and wetting system that will facilitate competition play during hot days, cooling the sand for comfortable play.
Dating back to the program’s first season in 2014, the Tiger’s played their home matches at Mango’s Beach Club in Baton Rouge. Over the past two seasons LSU went 20-1 at Mango’s, including a 14-match win streak in 2018. Moving to an on-campus venue will allow the Tigers to continue to flourish at home.
“We will be able to train in some of the deepest sand in the country," said junior Maddie Ligon. “I know that other schools don’t have the facility or the capability to have deep sand. To be able to train in this will allow us to be more successful. Everything will allow us to be better and more athletic.
“It allows for more academic success, more personal success and more ability to bond with my team.”
Moving on campus will make it easier than ever for LSU students and fans alike to experience the newest NCAA sanctioned sport.
“Now we can put beach volleyball truly on the map,” said sophomore Tatum Ballard. “We’ve been around for a while, but not being on campus, it’s been hard to get the turnout that we want. Now that we’re on campus, I’m so excited that the LSU student body can participate in how amazing our sport is.”
LSU is looking forward to being able to host its competition on the LSU campus as the LSU Beach Volleyball Stadium has raised the bar in emenities by providing eight covered team pavilions, a visitor’s locker room and shower facilities.
The facility also features energy efficient LED lighting, a customized home locker room for the Tigers, a state-of-the-art training room for immediate medical attention and a team lounge with smart TVs that can be used for film study and entertainment purposes.
There will be a final seating capacity of 450 with options in the grand stand and in the grass. New scoreboards on both sides of the courts will allow for fans to easily keep track of the score no matter where they are sitting while enjoying the energetic atmosphere of beach volleyball with a brand new sound system.
“The sound system is amazing,” said freshman Hailey Cabeceiras. “We get to bump in the locker room and outside. It gets the perfect mood going and everyone so excited to play.”
The Tigers also got a congratulatory text from three-time USA Olympian Gold Medalist beach volleyball player Misty May-Treanor through Dr. F. King Alexander.
“Congratulations to the team and coaches for having a brand new home,” Alexander read from what May-Treanor sent him. “I expect it to be awesome because, from what I’ve seen, LSU doesn’t do anything halfway. The program the beach coaches have built and the hard work the players have put in doesn’t go unrecognized, and this new stadium is a testament to exactly what we’ve accomplished (as a sport).
“Thank you to the school and the athletic department for believing in our great sport. Here is to continued success for the LSU Tiger beach team. Keep working hard. Great things will come. Enjoy your new facility and your new home. Dream in gold.”
Fans will first be able to experience the new stadium Saturday, February 16 for the Purple vs. Gold Scrimmage. One week later LSU will open its season on the road at the FSU Beach Tournament on Saturday, February 23 in Tallahassee.
LSU will host its first competition the night of Friday, March 15 for the LSU Beach Volleyball Stadium Duel.
To keep up with the latest information on the LSU Beach Volleyball program follow the Tigers on Twitter @LSUBeachVB and @RussLSUbeach, on Instagram @lsubeachvb and on www.Facebook.com/lsubeachvb.
New locker room ✅— LSU Beach Volleyball (@LSUBeachVB) January 14, 2019
Amazing team room ✅
24-inch deep sand ✅
State-of-the-art beach volleyball stadium ✅
It feels great to be home in the heart of campus 💜💛 pic.twitter.com/jCql0jrMFY
Check out what sets LSU Beach Volleyball Stadium apart 👀 pic.twitter.com/oQtiOcQ2cp— LSU Beach Volleyball (@LSUBeachVB) January 14, 2019