I began playing beach volleyball a few months ago and right away fell in love with it. I am a sophomore and was on JV at my high school this year, and REALLY want to play D1 beach volleyball in college. I am working hard every day and will be playing all summer with my beach club.
Do you think this dream is possible even though I didn't make varsity as a sophomore and just started beach?
The challenge which you will face with securing the opportunity to play NCAA Division I beach volleyball is the lack of schools which sponsor the sport. As of the 2016-17 school year, 54 NCAA Division I schools sponsored beach volleyball; overall there are approximately 80 colleges which sponsor beach volleyball (all divisions/organizations).
Compare that to the over 300 schools which sponsor NCAA Division I Volleyball, and over 1600 schools which support collegiate indoor volleyball.
Beach volleyball is a great sport and one which I was fortunate enough to play at the professional level for many years. It can be a great supplement for your indoor game, and as a lifetime sport, beach volleyball is much easier on the body! For instance, I am 99.99% sure I would not have torn my achilles playing beach volleyball......
Your ability to play NCAA Division I Beach volleyball will be determined by two things; your talent and your financial resources.
As you do the math, there are not a lot of DI Beach Volleyball opportunities out there (in addition to the number of teams which sponsor, the beach rosters are smaller than the indoor rosters).
In addition to the roster spots, Beach Volleyball is an Equivalency sport and few DI programs are providing athletic scholarship funding. This means that those few schools which have funded a scholarship or two, then give these scholarships out as partial scholarships. An Equivalency sport status allows student-athletes to package their scholarships in a combination of athletic, academic, merit and need based; this is a positive versus the Head Count sport of indoor volleyball in which no packaging is allowed. The bottom line can be an expensive component of getting on that DI beach team; you could be paying a good chunk of change to play beach volleyball for that DI team.
To actually play on a DI beach volleyball team will be determined by your talent; if you have the talent to make the program better, then the coach will recruit you. This is the same for indoor volleyball. To achieve your goal, you must continue to do exactly what you are doing; focus on getting better and play as much as you can.
Good luck and keep working hard!