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Women’s sand volleyball goes varsity

SAN MARCOS — Palomar College will initiate women’s intercollegiate sand volleyball as a varsity sport, effective spring 2015. With this addition, the Palomar College Athletics department will offer a total of 22 intercollegiate sports, leveling the number of men’s and women’s programs at 11 each.

Intercollegiate sand volleyball will be played during the spring season of sport, opposite to the fall indoor season, allowing for qualified prospects to participate in both programs, much like water polo-swimming and cross country-track and field. Head Coach Karl Seiler, who concluded his 18th season at the Comet women’s volleyball helm this past fall, has been appointed to supervise both programs. A six-time Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, Seiler has guided his Comet indoor teams to conference titles in 1996, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2008 and 2009.

“I’m excited to get back to the sand-court game,” said Seiler. “That’s where I started as a player. The new program will provide more opportunity for our student athletes to earn scholarships and transfer on to four-year institutions. We are actively seeking regional prospects to play at the intercollegiate level and begin their academic and athletic careers right here at Palomar College.”

Through a vote of the statewide membership at its March convention, the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) has adopted the sport for sanctioned championship play next spring. At least 17 Southern California schools have indicated a commitment to field intercollegiate teams in the first season, including the San Diego County-based Pacific Coast Athletic Conference: Grossmont College, MiraCosta College, San Diego City College, San Diego Mesa College and Southwestern College.