Olympic gold medalist beach volleyball player, Misty May-Treanor, expressed her support for the project

By Matt Wendt

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Matt Wendt

The city of Morgan Hill has planned and budgeted for sand volleyball courts at the Outdoor Sports Center on Condit Road. A sand volleyball center will provide residents with another sports and recreational opportunity, in addition to the facilities we already have.

This project will benefit our youth and women’s athletics, as well as our local hospitality businesses. Sand volleyball courts are inexpensive to build and maintain and do not have a negative environmental impact. The sand volleyball center will be a focal point of the sport not only in Morgan Hill, but in all of Northern California.

The city is currently exploring the viability of the project and partnership opportunities with organizations or sponsors to fund and/or be the operator. A number of organizations have expressed interest in building, operating and/or renting sand volleyball courts in Morgan Hill including USA Volleyball’s youth program, Northern California Volleyball Association (NCVA), AAU, City Beach, P1440 RiSE (Olympic gold medalist beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings’ youth, amateur and professional tournaments), California Beach Volleyball Association (CBVA), Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) First youth program, Stanford University Women’s Beach Volleyball Team, NorCal Jr. Beach Tournaments and beach volleyball clubs.

Olympic gold medalist beach volleyball player, Misty May-Treanor, also expressed her support for the project. The local volleyball community supported the project during the recent Parks and Recreation Master Plan Update, including Rosy Bergin, a former professional beach volleyball player and owner of Rosy’s at the Beach, and the coaches of local high school girls’ indoor teams. Also, there is interest in starting a recreational sand volleyball league.

There is both a local and regional need for sand volleyball courts in Morgan Hill. The sport is growing at a rapid rate in Northern California including a number of youth beach volleyball club teams, informal high school girls’ teams, amateur sand volleyball tournaments for all ages and professional leagues. In addition, sand volleyball was recently made a women’s collegiate sport and many colleges now have four-court facilities for their matches. The only beach in Northern California that can accommodate all these organizations is in Santa Cruz. The 15 courts there are overbooked every season and difficult to travel to for the majority of players in comparison to Morgan Hill. West Valley Junior College just expanded their facility to six courts, but organizations still have difficulty renting the courts for as much time as they need. Also, six courts is not enough to host large tournaments. No other facility with a large quantity of volleyball courts exists in the Bay Area, despite the growing demand.  A 15 to 20-court sand volleyball center would be a game changer for the sport in the Bay Area.

We are blessed to have many sports and recreational opportunities nearby. Morgan Hill has an abundance of options including the Centennial Recreation Center, Outdoor Sports Center, Aquatics Center, Inclusive Playground (coming soon to Community Park!), sports fields, parks and trails. These facilities are the heart of Morgan Hill and they bring the community together. A sand volleyball center is another opportunity to expand our sports and recreational offerings.

Matt Wendt is on the Parks and Recreation Commission. He is a board member on the Morgan Hill Community Foundation, a former member of the men’s indoor volleyball team at U.C. San Diego and a former AAA ranked amateur beach volleyball player.

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