The history of Bear Down Beach
If you’ve ever gone out to watch our Sand Cats compete, then you have probably noticed the beautiful sandy courts on which they compete. But what’s the history behind it?
For Arizona, beach volleyball did not officially become a sport until January 2013, becoming the school’s 20th varsity sport. But in order to host games and tournaments, Arizona needed a sand facility; thus, they made plans to create Bear Down Beach.
Bear Down Beach was completed in the winter of 2013, just months before the 2014 season.
Annually, the beach volleyball season starts around mid-February. In 2014, the Sand Cats were able to compete on a home-court, helping them to establish their program and win games.
Bear Down Beach contains five playing courts each containing about 18 inches of sand to compete on.
The Wildcats are coming off a 17-10 record from the previous season and are looking to make a stronger run this year.
Last year, the Wildcats hosted the Pac-12 Beach Volleyball Championships and played California, UCLA, Stanford and Washington. The Sand Cats open its 2018 season with the Cactus Classic on Feb. 24 at Bear Down Beach. Going into their fifth season, the Cats were ranked 6th in the NCAA preseason poll.
This season, the Wildcats will travel to Santa Monica, Calif. for the Pac-12 South Invitational and Stanford, Calif. for the Pac-12 Championship Tournament, and will face challenging teams such as Washington, UCLA and USC throughout the season.