The NCAA National Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championship Returns to ESPN

College Sports (Miscellaneous)

The NCAA National Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championship Returns to ESPN

**The schedule grid was updated on May 4 at 9 a.m. to reflect changes in dual times for day two of the event, due to impending bad weather. **

  • 15 Hours of Coverage from Gulf Shores, Ala., May 3-5
  • Championship and Semifinal on ESPN; Preliminary Rounds on ESPN2; Competition Begins on ESPNU

For the second straight year, ESPN will provide full coverage of the NCAA National Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championship taking place in Gulf Shores, Ala. Day one of the eight team, double-elimination tournament begins at 10 a.m.  ET on Friday, May 3, on ESPNU with each team playing two duals throughout eight hours of coverage. Day two will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, on ESPN2 consisting of four duals, including the first semifinal at 4 p.m. on ESPN.

The second semifinal will begin the final day of competition at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 5, on ESPN2. The 14-dual season finale event will conclude with the championship at 2 p.m. on ESPN.

Alternative Viewing Option
In addition to the telecast of each dual on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU, action from individual courts will be available to stream on ESPN3 via the ESPN App so fans can follow their favorite pair.

This year’s field of eight schools, which was  announced on Sunday, April 28, features:

  1. USC
  2. UCLA
  3. Florida State
  4. Pepperdine
  5. LSU
  6. Cal Poly
  7. Hawaii
  8. Stetson

USC, UCLA and Pepperdine make up the west region and Florida State, LSU and Stetson make up the east region. Cal Poly and Hawaii were granted at-large bids by the committee.

In addition to the action from every court, fans will get an in-depth look at the dynamic personalities that make the sport so special through a variety of feature pieces and vignettes incorporated into the telecasts throughout the three-day event.

  • The Challenge of Coaching: Beach Volleyball is unique in the sense that there are five courts competing simultaneously and, as such, creates a unique coaching scenario. Head coaches and their assistants have to be strategic, moving from court to court depending on the need in the moment.
  • Double Trouble: The McNamara twins have dominated on the beach as a pair since their freshman year at UCLA, even winning the National Championship last year as juniors. As they finish their collegiate careers, what is left for them to achieve and what comes next?
  • Battling Back: Two years ago, Florida State head coach Brooke Niles fought life-threatening pneumonia at seven months pregnant. She battled back to lead her team to a second place finish in the championship last year.
  • Against All Odds: Florida State’s Avery Poppinga grew up in a beach volleyball family so playing in college was practically a foregone conclusion. Just before beginning her career at Florida State, Poppinga fell off a boat, puncturing her lung, and almost died. In addition to the complications from that accident, she then had to have surgery to correct scoliosis. The decision was made to red-shirt her freshman year, giving Poppinga the opportunity to truly heal and get ready for this season.
  • Hometown Hero: During last year’s Woosley Fires in California, Pepperdine’s Skylar Caputo, along with her father, joined with a local surf/snowboard shop owner from South Bay to deliver supplies to victims.

On the Call
There will be two commentating teams on the ground in Gulf Shores providing in-depth analysis, play-by-play commentary and courtside interviews:

  • Courtney Lyle, Dain Blanton and Holly Rowe
  • Sam Gore, Holly McPeak and Dawn Davenport


  • Holly McPeak is a three-time beach volleyball Olympian who took home the bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. She is the third most decorated beach volleyball player with only Kerri Walsh-Jennings and Misty May-Trainor holding more titles.
  • Dain Blanton is a two-time beach volleyball Olympian who took home the gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Blanton was the first African American to win beach volleyball gold.


  • Sam Gore is a veteran television and radio play-by-play commentator, contributing to NCAA Volleyball coverage for ESPN in the regular and post seasons. Gore also contributes to the network’s collegiate tennis coverage.
  • Courtney Lyle joined ESPN in 2016 as a play-by-play commentator across multiple sports including volleyball, basketball and softball. Lyle’s contributions to NCAA Volleyball have spanned both the regular and post seasons.


  • Holly Rowe has been a prominent voice at ESPN since 1998. As a reporter, she primarily covers college football, men’s and women’s college basketball, softball, NBA and WNBA. Throughout her time at ESPN, Rowe has also provided play-by-play commentary for women’s college basketball, softball, volleyball and gymnastics.
  • Dawn Davenport joined ESPN as a sideline reporter in the fall of 2013. Davenport was a three-year letterwinner and a two-time SEC Academic Honor Roll honeree member of the Auburn University volleyball team.

NCAA National Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championship Television Schedule

Date Time (ET) Dual Network
Fri, May 3 10 a.m. No. 1 USC vs. No. 8 Stetson ESPNU
11 a.m. No. 5 LSU vs. No. 4 Pepperdine ESPNU
Noon No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 6 Cal Poly ESPNU
1 p.m. No. 7 Hawaii vs. No. 2 UCLA ESPNU
2 p.m. No. 4 Pepperdine vs. No. 1 UCLA ESPNU
3 p.m. No. 7 Hawaii vs. No. 6 Cal Poly ESPNU
4 p.m. No. 8 Stetson vs. No. 5 LSU ESPNU
5 p.m. No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 2 UCLA ESPNU
Sat, May 4 10 a.m. Florida State vs. USC ESPN2
11 a.m. Stetson vs. Hawaii ESPN2
1 p.m. Florida State vs. UCLA ESPN2
Sun, May 5 10:30 a.m. LSU vs. USC ESPN2
2 p.m. NCAA Division I Beach Volleyball Championship ESPN



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