Totino-Grace senior making history
Delaney Rohan is state’s first in sand volleyball
BY Ryan Schleicher – SUN NEWSPAPERS
Delaney Rohan is just your average high school senior or so it seems.
She enjoys all the things any senior girl would. Academics, friends, and athletics are all a part of Rohan’s typical day. It is her interest in athletics however that is making her stand out amongst her peers.
Rohan has been playing volleyball for Totino-Grace throughout her high school career and she will continue that trend as she coasts off into college. Rohan has become the first female athlete from Minnesota to sign a letter of intent to attend a college and receive a scholarship based on participating in competitive sand volleyball.
Rohan will be taking her talents to Georgia State. Rohan’s sand-mate, Natalie Wilson, who attends Wayzata will become the second female to receive a scholarship for athletic excellence in sand volleyball. Wilson will join her sand-mate and longtime friend Rohan at Georgia State.
Sand volleyball, also known as beach volleyball, is new to the NCAA as of the 2012 season as being recognized as an organized female sport. The NCAA chose to identify this sport as sand volleyball rather than beach volleyball in the hopes they will reach a much more diverse audience to help the evolution of the sport. The NCAA claims that the term beach refers to coastal schools whereas the term sand can be applied in many areas including coastal, desert, mountainous, and Midwestern environments.
Currently, sand volleyball is categorized as an emerging women’s sport preventing it from reaching championship status directly with the NCAA. Championship status athletics are sports that are recognized by the NCAA completely, in which those sports can compete for a legitimate NCAA championship.
According to ncaa.org, “an emerging sport is a women’s sport recognized by the NCAA that is intended to help schools provide more athletics opportunities for women, more sport sponsorship options for institutions and help that sport achieve NCAA championship status.”
Schools can currently register programs directly to the NCAA allowing athletes around the world the opportunities to earn scholarships to attend those registered schools. “Bylaws require that emerging sports must gain championship status (minimum 40 varsity NCAA programs for individual sports and 28 varsity programs for team sports) within 10 years or show steady progress toward that goal to remain on the list,” according to ncaa.org.
Four sports have entered as emerging women’s sports since this concept was originated over 15 years ago to advance to full-fledged championship sports. Those sports are women’s rowing, ice hockey, water polo, and bowling. Currently, sand volleyball has 14 registered schools.
These schools range in size and location including large universities such as USC and Pepperdine on the west coast reaching all the way across the United States to Florida State and even include smaller universities such as the College of Charleston and Long Beach State.
Sand Volleyball is one of three sports recognized as emerging women’s sports. Equestrian and rugby are the two other sports that are currently categorized as emerging women’s sports.