MORAGA, Calif. – The Saint Mary’s sand volleyball team is sending its No. 1 pair in Dalas Dodd and Jordan Shaw, to the 2013 AVCA Sand Volleyball Collegiate National Championships this weekend in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Dodd and Shaw are one of the 16-pairs who were selected to compete in the Championships. Pepperdine won both the team and Pairs Championships in 2012.
"Dalas and Jordan have worked extremely hard all spring and their selection is well deserved,” said head coach Brent Crouch. “Not only did they have to perform well against their collegiate opponents, but they had to perform well individually in practice against the rest of our roster day in and day out to maintain their position as our top team. Their selection is a testament to consistently excellent play. And though only one pair from our team is competing in Gulf Shores, Dalas and Jordan owe a great deal to the other players on our team that pushed them in practice. In this sense, the AVCA bid is a team selection.”
Saint Mary’s finished the year with a team record of 8-2, including a win over nationally ranked Stanford. The Gaels also earned a national ranking of No. 9 during the season.
"I am extremely excited to have this opportunity to represent Saint Mary's for our first appearance at an AVCA National Championship event,” said Shaw. “We have learned a lot this season and are continuing to adapt to the outdoor game, and what a better place to continue that learning by playing against the best beach volleyball players in the country in a highly competitive environment. I have had an amazing time playing with Dalas all year and I can't wait to see what we are able to achieve in Alabama!"
Shaw and Dodd are both strong starters on the Gaels’ indoor volleyball team. The 2012 team advanced to the NCAA Tournament second round after a thrilling five-set win over San Diego State. Shaw averaged 2.43 kills and 3.26 digs, while Dodd averaged 9.96 assists, 1.63 digs and 0.47 blocks. Fittingly, the tandem formed SMC’s top pair on the sand volleyball team.
"This being our first sand season, we weren't sure what to expect,” said Dodd. “At the beginning, nationals weren't even on our minds, but we've worked so hard and put in so many hours and now we've been selected and couldn't be more excited about the opportunity. I'm so happy that Jord and I get a chance to compete against the best in the nation and show what we are capable of."
Being selected to compete at the National Championships is something in itself. The Gaels do not offer a separate sand volleyball program, as do some other schools.
“The sand program, in general, has been a great addition to our indoor program,” said Crouch. “The players love it, and Saint Mary's will continue to be a great place to compete at a high level on both surfaces. Already, we are attracting interest from recruits who are excellent "two-surface" players."
The Gaels’ pair of Dodd and Shaw will compete at the championships in Pool B. On Friday, they will play at 11:00 a.m. (Central Time) and again at 2:00 p.m. (CT). On Saturday, the pair will lay at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
Sunday will be the championship day as the top pairs in the Pools will square off to determine the winning pair.
Various matches and highlights will be televised by the CBS Sports Network on Tuesday, May 21st and Tuesday, May 28th.