CONWAY, Ark. (May 16, 2018) – Hendrix
College Warrior Athletics will add beach volleyball, the school’s 22nd
NCAA Division III team. 


Hendrix is only
the fourth DIII institution in the country to offer beach volleyball since it became
an official NCAA sport in 2016.


The new women’s sport, which debuts at
Hendrix in March 2020, will be led by a familiar face. Hendrix alumna and
indoor volleyball standout M.C. Rogers ’16 was recently named head beach
volleyball coach.


MC Rogers 2018.5.15-8205cropweb.jpg“I had such an incredible experience
as a student-athlete at Hendrix College, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity
to return to the campus I love with the most incredible people who have helped
shape me into the person I am today,” said Rogers, a Collierville, Tenn.,
native. 


Beach volleyball will build on the
momentum of the College’s successful indoor program, which has earned consecutive Southern Athletic
Association (SAA) regular season and tournament titles (2014 – 2016), advanced
to the NCAA Division III Final Four in 2015, and secured numerous individual
player and team honors.


“We’re so excited to introduce beach
volleyball as our 22nd intercollegiate sport at Hendrix,” said Amy
Weaver, Director of Athletics and head softball coach at Hendrix. “It’s a great
addition to Warrior Athletics, and Coach Rogers is the perfect choice to build
this new program.”


Rogers was part of the 2014-2016
Southern Athletics Association Conference Championship and 2015 NCAA National
Championship semi-finalist teams at Hendrix. She was a two-time
All-American Honorable Mention (2014 and 2016) and the first All-American in
the Hendrix volleyball program.


“My experience as a student-athlete at
Hendrix is one of the most valuable things I can bring to the program,” she
said. “It allows me to relate to student-athletes and recruits on a personal
level.”


Rogers, who joins the Hendrix Athletics
staff this month, played two seasons of beach volleyball at the University of
Central Arkansas, while working on her master’s degree in college student
personnel services and administration. 


“I know the switch from indoor to
beach volleyball isn’t an easy one,” said Rogers, who will also assist new
Warrior indoor volleyball
head coach Brittany Newberry. “I’ve experienced the frustrations and joys that come with
learning a new sport with entirely different rules and strategies.


“Building a new program is about
creating a culture of hard work and trust, already the cornerstone of Hendrix Athletics.
I know this team culture already exists because I was a part of it as a
student-athlete, and that championship mentality exists at the core of Hendrix
Volleyball,” she said. “Since many beach players will be hybrids (indoor and
beach players), at least for the first few years, my focus will be to build on
this culture. I’m eager to share my passion for this exciting new sport with
the Hendrix community.”


Beach volleyball can actually help
improve indoor volleyball performance. It can help players gain a better
awareness of the court, improve strength and agility (because sand makes
everything harder), and increase vertical jump height. 


While players can play both indoor and
beach, beach volleyball is a
completely different sport. 


There are six
pairs of two player teams on each team, ranking 1 through 6, and each pair
plays the opposing team’s pair in their same ranking. With only two players in
each pair, both players must be great passers, servers, hitters, and defenders.


The best three
out of five matches wins, and the sixth ranking is an exhibition game that
doesn’t count toward the team win. Beach sets go to 21 (instead of 25 in indoor
competition); and the best two out of three sets wins (indoor is best three out
of five sets). 


Beach courts are
slightly smaller than indoor courts, and the sand surface changes everything. Beach
players have to develop a strategy to combat the adverse effects of outdoor
factors, such as rain, sun, temperature, and wind. The uniform will be the
regular volleyball spandex, tank tops, and bare feet (unless it’s cold, then
layers of socks will be absolutely necessary).


One significant
difference about beach volleyball is that coaches are not allowed to speak to
players unless they are switching sides (which happens when both scores add up
to a multiple of seven for the first two sets to 21, and multiples of 5 for the
third tie-breaker set to 15) or the players call a timeout. This forces pairs
to work together to problem-solve and make changes quickly. 


“It is a game of quick problem
solving, strong mentality, cooperation, and communication, vital components to
the liberal arts education,” Rogers said, adding that beach volleyball truly
embodies the Hendrix motto “Unto the whole person.”  


Rogers will begin recruiting this
summer and building the team for next year. She would like to begin with 14
players, which may include indoor players. 


Until Hendrix develops a beach
volleyball facility, the Warriors will practice at UCA.


“There is only
one other collegiate beach volleyball team in the state of Arkansas, and
thankfully it’s right down the street,” she said. “It is likely that we will
have several opportunities to play against UCA because they are so close. We
are hoping to compete in many of the tournaments that UCA has competed in
during their two years as a program.”


Rogers hopes the
new sport will attract new student-athletes and sports fans to Hendrix. 


“Beach volleyball
is expanding rapidly in the places where Hendrix already recruits heavily,
including California and Texas,” she said. “Not many people in Arkansas have
seen beach volleyball besides on the Olympics, so it’s a new sport that
students and student-athletes will be excited to witness and experience.”


About Hendrix College



 

A
private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently
earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions,
and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will
Change the Way You Think About Colleges.
Its academic quality and
rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous
college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated
with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit www.hendrix.edu.