UT Beach Volleyball Hosts First Home Matches
Mar 28, 2024

UT Beach Volleyball Hosts First Home Matches

Reporting Texas TV

AUSTIN, Texas – The new University of Texas volleyball team made history this month, under the sun on sand.

Texas Beach Volleyball played a few away games last season but finally hosted home matches March 20 at the Wright-Whitaker Sports Complex.

The Longhorns first defeated Houston Christian University, 3-2, but then lost 4-1 to No. 14 Washington.

Head coach Stein Metzger was upbeat despite the defeat.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” Metzger said. “Usually, I am a little sour coming out of a loss, but I just feel like the environment was so great. I’m super grateful to the fans that came out. The energy was awesome.”

Katie Hashman, a redshirt sophomore who transferred to UT from UCLA, said the opportunity to play at the Wright-Whitaker Sports Complex was extra meaningful.

“Growing up, I was a Texas fan,” Hashman said. “My mom went to Texas and I grew up going to every sporting event imaginable, so getting to play here and have that fan base around me, it’s been an amazing experience.”

The Texas Longhorns face the No. 14 Washington Huskies at the Wright-Whitaker Sports Complex in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday, March 20, 2024. The two matches were the first home games hosted by the Longhorns’ beach volleyball team since its addition as a varsity sport in 2022. (Tori Garcia/Reporting Texas TV)

In 2022, Texas volleyball head coach Jerritt Elliott announced the addition of beach volleyball as the university’s 21st varsity sport. It became the UT’s first new varsity-level sport since the addition of rowing in 1997.

Elliott oversaw its limited season last year. However, with the hiring of Metzger in spring 2023, the beach volleyball program became a fully-sanctioned sport this year. With no time to recruit athletes because of his late arrival to Austin, Metzger strictly relied on the transfer portal to build his roster.

Despite this unconventional approach, Hashman and the rest of the roster were blown away by the enthusiastic support from the crowd during their first home game appearance.

“This was our first home game and this was the rowdiest crowd I was able to play in front of, so it was super cool,” Hashman said.

Kennedy King, a UT junior, said watching the first home game is a memory she will never forget.

“This is so exciting to be able to watch it for the first time and to be able to be here, one for a free game, and two, to be able to cheer the team on,” King said. “I’m just really excited to see how this program builds up and to be able to say that I was here for the first game.”