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Feb. 28, 2013

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina will add sand volleyball as its 21st intercollegiate sport for the 2013-14 academic year, Director of Athletics Ray Tanner announced today.

“The addition of sand volleyball gives us the ability to add more opportunities for women to participate in intercollegiate athletics,” said Tanner.

With the addition of sand volleyball, the South Carolina Board of Trustees, at its Feb. 28 meeting, approved the construction of a playing facility that would be located in the Athletic Village near the new Carolina Tennis Facility, Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field and the soccer practice fields. The facility would be completed by the start of competition in spring 2014.

Moritz Moritz will serve as the first head coach of the Gamecocks’ sand volleyball program, after spending the past two years as an assistant coach on the Gamecocks’ indoor volleyball team. Moritz will leave the indoor team to concentrate solely on starting this new program.

“I’m very grateful for the chance to begin this new chapter in Gamecock athletics,” said Moritz. “While it’s tough to leave behind Scott (Swanson) and the indoor team, I’m excited to get this new sand volleyball team off the ground. I’m thankful for Scott bringing me here two years ago and his help to get sand volleyball started, which wouldn’t have happened without his support. Thanks also go to Ray Tanner, Judy Van Horn and the rest of the administration for this opportunity.”

Prior to his two-year stint with the Gamecocks’ indoor team, where the Gamecocks led the Southeastern Conference in digs during his first season, Moritz coached five years at Idaho, coordinating the Vandals’ defense and community service efforts while also serving as the team’s liaison with academics. He also spent eight years in the Fort Collins, Colo., area, including five as the volunteer assistant at Colorado State. His roots are in California, where he played beach volleyball growing up before starting his coaching career as an assistant with Pacific Palisades High School and the Island Juniors club.

Sand volleyball is the 12th female sport to be added by South Carolina to go with nine men’s teams sponsored by the school. The Gamecocks are the first Southeastern Conference school to add the sport and the 31st nationally.

With Moritz’s shift to the sand team, Swanson will begin a national search for a new assistant coach for his indoor team.

For more details on the addition of this sport, such as scholarships, playing season and duration, differences from the indoor game, etc., see the frequently asked questions here.