The University of Louisiana at Monroe sand volleyball team is getting some home grown flavor next year as Holland Ponthieux of Calhoun has signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Warhawks beginning in 2016-2017.
Ponthieux, a homeschool student who plays with ACEL Flames in both volleyball and basketball said she was excited to be leading the way for local girls to possibly join the program in the future.
“It is a humbling experience and I am so excited,” Ponthieux said. “I love playing. I started just three years ago. This opportunity fell in my lap. My friends started a sand volleyball team.”
Ponthieux describes her start in the sport as “crazy” because she had always wanted to play her first love – soccer.
When her local club soccer team disbanded, she looked for a new outlet for her athletic abilities.
-Ponthieux played in sand volleyball tournaments across Florida, Louisiana and Alabama.
Ponthieux, 17, now hopes her new home with ULM sand volleyball can inspire others.
“I hope it shows girls to always go for what you want,” Ponthieux said.
Ponthiuex plans to major in kinesiology and later physical therapy.
ULM began its sand volleyball program in 2013 and now joins some 44 teams in the American Volleyball Coaches Association. Sand Volleyball became a Division I NCAA championship sport in 2014.
ULM has reached nationals each year and in 2015 won a program best 15 games.
ULM plays in the southeast region along with such programs as Tulane, Florida State, College of Charleston, Stetson, Jacksonville, North Florida, Alabama-Birmingham, Mercer, Florida Atlantic, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida International, Georgia State and Coastal Carolina.
Georgia State and Coastal Carolina are among the schools in the Sun Belt Conference in other sports with ULM.
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