Monday, 22 Jul 2024

Struggling but Thriving: The Journey of Men’s Collegiate Beach Athletes

Beach Athletes

After a grueling indoor season with the University of Hawaii, Brett Rosenmeier and Colton Cowell found themselves back on the sand at the Bridgestone USA Volleyball Beach Collegiate Championship. These resilient athletes were determined to make their mark in the world of beach volleyball.

A Different Ball Game

Beach volleyball presented a whole new set of challenges for Rosenmeier and Cowell. The demanding nature of the sport required a different level of endurance and agility. Rosenmeier shared, “Beach volleyball works different parts of the body, that’s for sure. Endurance is something you really need when you come out here. All the cramping and the running we’re doing really takes a toll on you.”

Amidst the physical demands, the duo acknowledged the crucial role their coaches played in their success. They expressed their gratitude towards their indoor coaching staff, highlighting the contributions of Charlie Wade, Milan Zarkovic, and Josh Walker. They also credited their strength and conditioning coach, Josh Elms, for preparing them to give their best performance at the tournament.

Battling Towards Victory

Rosenmeier and Cowell’s perseverance paid off as they secured two hard-fought victories in the pool-play matches. Their triumphs earned them a spot in the men’s semifinals. Excitement filled the air as they awaited the match between Penn State’s Will Bantle and Matt McLaren, and Quincy’s Anthony Winter and Collin Merk, to determine their opponents.

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On the other side of the bracket, Pepperdine’s Owen Yoshimoto and Robert Mullahey were set to face the winner of UC Irvine’s Dante Chakravorti and Grant Friedman, and Florida State’s Adam Wienckowski and Jon Justice. The competition was fierce, and every team was giving their all to secure a place in the finals.

Men’s Beach Volleyball: Still Carving Its Path

While women’s beach volleyball has gained popularity as one of the NCAA’s fastest-growing sports, the same cannot be said for its male counterpart. The contrast was evident as the women’s teams had university uniforms and coaches supporting them, while the men’s teams mostly relied on their own resources.

However, Cowell and Rosenmeier had bigger aspirations. They aimed to pursue beach volleyball professionally after their college careers and hoped to witness the growth of collegiate men’s beach volleyball. “We both wish they did have NCAA men’s beach because we both really enjoy it,” expressed Rosenmeier. The duo recognized the potential of the sport and hoped to inspire more male athletes to embrace beach volleyball.

The Road to Global Recognition

The winners of the men’s and women’s tournaments at the Bridgestone USA Volleyball Beach Collegiate Championship would earn the prestigious opportunity to compete at the 2018 World University Championships in Munich, Germany. Additionally, the second- and third-place teams would be invited to train with USA Volleyball beach staff in Torrance, Calif., and potentially secure a spot in Germany if the United States received an extra berth for each gender.

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The stakes were high, and the competitors were determined to leave their mark on the sand. As the tournament progressed, teams showcased remarkable skills, proving their worth in the world of beach volleyball.

FAQs

Q: Is men’s beach volleyball an NCAA sport?
A: Men’s beach volleyball is not currently recognized as an NCAA sport, unlike its female counterpart.

Q: What are the potential opportunities for the tournament winners?
A: The champions of the men’s and women’s tournaments will earn a chance to compete at the 2018 World University Championships in Munich, Germany. The second- and third-place teams will also have an opportunity to train with USA Volleyball beach staff in Torrance, Calif.

Conclusion

The journey of men’s collegiate beach athletes is paved with determination, sacrifice, and the pursuit of excellence. Rosenmeier and Cowell, along with other talented athletes, continue to inspire through their commitment to the sport. As the popularity of beach volleyball grows, the hope for a thriving collegiate men’s beach volleyball scene becomes stronger. Let us embrace this dynamic sport and support the athletes who push boundaries to excel in their craft.

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