A new facility is being added to the Tusculum University landscape as construction of the TU beach volleyball complex started Wednesday morning.
Four beach volleyball courts are being installed on the Southeast corner of Tennessee’s most historic university. The new beach complex is being constructed adjacent to the Red Edmonds Softball Field.
Since the TU beach volleyball program was introduced during the 2018-19 academic year, the Pioneers have utilized the two sand courts located next to Katherine Hall in the middle of the main Greeneville campus. Those courts will continue to be utilized by the Tusculum student body.
The new facility will have four NCAA regulation beach courts, netting, fencing, windscreens and a state-of-the-art drainage system. It is anticipated that 42 truckloads of sand will be used for the facility, measuring out to over 1,000 tons of sand needed for the project. The project is being funded by outside donors as well as private donations.
“This is a great opportunity as we continue to build on a very strong and winning program,” said Tusculum President Dr. Scott Hummel. “It is exciting to come out and watch our student-athletes compete on campus and it’s going to be more exciting since we will be doubling our courts from two to four.”
“I have to give a lot of credit to our head coach Jason Morris who has a vision for what our beach program can be,” added Doug Jones, Vice President for Athletics and University Initiatives. “In a very short time, he has taken a young program and has developed it into a championship-type program. Beach volleyball is the fastest growing NCAA sport and we are excited about the growth opportunity to continue to bring in quality student-athletes.”
When completed, the new courts will give the Pioneers a permanent home for match competition, practices and training. The beach complex will also provide an opportunity to generate revenue in hosting tournaments and other events at the venue. The project, which is being constructed by J and J Enterprises, is expected to be finished in August.
“We want to thank everyone for making this project happen, especially Dr. Hummel, Coach Jones, (Associate Athletic Director) Deborah Davis and (Assistant Athletic Director) Josh Ealy,” Morris said. “Our players have put in a lot of hard work and it will give us a home and a true facility where we can host big events. This is not just for our team but the entire community.”
Tusculum is coming off a 7-9 campaign as the Pioneers won four of their last five contests while capturing the SAC Beach Challenge championship as TU knocked off Lincoln Memorial University, Catawba College and Carson-Newman University to claim the title.
Tusculum also shined in the classroom as the Pioneers were the recipients of the USMC/AVCA NCAA Division II Team Academic Award. TU was one of 10 DII programs honored as the Pioneers posted a 3.40 team cumulative grade point average.