University grows to include new sport


Shaelyn Martinez/The Lion’s Roar

Students play volleyball at the sand court in Greek Village. Beach Volleyball has been added as an NCAA sport, and the university plans to begin competing in 2020 with Jeremy White as the head coach of beach volleyball.

The university’s athletics program added beach volleyball to its roster and will begin competition in the sport in 2020.

Jeremy White, a native of Vidor, Texas, has been appointed the head coach of beach volleyball.

Beach volleyball is considered to be the university’s “sweet 16” because it will be the 16th NCAA sport played on campus.

White is excited to get started with this new addition and promote the sport. He explained the difference between regular volleyball and beach volleyball.

“A big difference is going to be of course the outdoor element, as well as it is doubles instead of sixes,” said White. “We play the duels like tennis, in a sense, as where we play five mini matches best two out of three, and as a pair wins or loses a match, it comes to a total best of five for the actual duels.”

Michelle Mirarchi, a setter for the indoor volleyball team, shared why she thinks this program was added.

“I think this sport was added to bring another level of competition to Southeastern and will also enhance the overall volleyball program,” said Mirarchi. “It’s gonna be a great addition into the athletic program at SLU, and a lot of us are very excited to get out there and start competing with other schools. With such great support from the school and athletic program we have, I think we will come out strong.”

Mirarchi agreed that there will be differences when compared to regular volleyball.

Mirarchi explained, “From the court size, ball size, rules, the style of play, and of course the environment you’re playing in – it’s also just you and one other person on the court. So, chemistry plays a big factor. It requires the same basic skills of volleyball, just with a twist.”

White feels that the new addition will better prepare the athletes for competitions.

“I think it will be great in developing our athletes to be complete volleyball players because you have to be able to do everything,” said White. “You have to pass, you have to set and you have to swing. You cannot just specialize, and I think they are really grateful to have this opportunity. “

White thinks that the sport will be beneficial to the local community as well.

“I think it will just be neat for everyone in this area to experience, because of how good the Louisiana weather is, and I think beach volleyball is the purest form of the sport,” shared White.

Sand courts for beach volleyball are currently being constructed behind the right-field wall of the softball stadium in North Oak Park.