Missouri State’s beach volleyball team is set for its third season of action with a new conference and a new roster.
MSU joins Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA) for the 2020 season, the fourteenth school affiliated with beach volleyball in the conference.
They accompany current members UAB, College of Charleston, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Florida State, Georgia State, LSU, South Carolina, Southern Miss, TCU, Tulane and UNCW.
“The most exciting thing about joining a conference is the national recognition,” head coach Terri Del Conte said.
Though the schedule isn’t finalized quite yet, Del Conte said they have several matchups against top-20 and top-10 nationally ranked teams.
“This is the strongest schedule we’ve ever had,” Del Conte said. “It will be fun to rise to the challenge of playing at the highest level.”
The Bears own a 20-21 all-time record with current CCSA members and will have the chance to play in the 2020 CCSA Championship on April 17-19 in Huntsville, Alabama.
Missouri State is coming off a 13-11 2019 season, with a perfect 4-0 record at home.
The team travels nationally for its matchups, but Del Conte confirmed there will be a home tournament on March 27-28.
While most coaches would say it’s better for their athletes to get a good night’s sleep in their own bed, Del Conte said she believes her team thrives off traveling and adapting to different environments.
“It’s part of the beauty of the sport,” Del Conte said.
The roster overhaul could create challenges for the team, however. The Bears are equipped with ten underclassmen and just seven upperclassmen.
Missouri State welcomed five transfers out of Drury, New Mexico, UAB, Evansville and Florida Atlantic. Only one athlete out of 16 has been with the Bears since its inaugural season in 2018.
“We have more new than veteran players,” Del Conte said. “We hope we can continue to evolve and make strides this season.”