There’s a new stadium on campus in Southern California, this one dedicated to women’s sand volleyball. USC unveiled the new Merle Norman Sand Volleyball Stadium on Thursday, and the team will begin its second season of play in its new home on Sunday.
The No. 3 Trojans open their 2013 season by hosting No. 4 Florida State and Loyola Marymount this Sunday, Mar. 10. Per USC’s athletic department site, opening day will consist of three dual matches between the teams. The Seminoles–who finished third at the AVCA National Collegiate Sand Volleyball Championships last year–first will take on Loyola Marymount starting at 9 a.m., then USC will face Loyola Marymount at 11 a.m. The Women of Troy will end the night by clashing with Florida State, beginning at 2 p.m.
In 2012, USC went 7-4 and sent 2 teams to the pairs portion of the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball Championship.
Each square-off will consist of five matches between pairs, with each match being rally scoring best-of-3 sets.
On Thursday, USC officially dedicated the Merle Norman Sand Volleyball Stadium, with help from 2012 London Olympic beach volleyball silver medalists April Ross and Jennifer Kessy. The dynamic duo played the first-ever match in the new stadium, an exhibition alumni game, after USC Athletic Director Pat Haden gave a speech.
Merle Norman Stadium, located on the east side of campus on Figueroa Street directly across from the Galen Center, features 3 courts with sand from the U.S. Olympic Training Center. Palm trees line the perimeter of the stadium, which really helps to sell the beach environment for this stadium. It also has bleachers and a grass berm for spectator seating, a scoreboard and audio system, lighting, restrooms, showers and a storage area.