College Sports

UC Davis adds 2 women's teams to meet Title IX standards as campus demographics change

Alanna Mitchell, a student at UC Davis, cools down 9-year-old mare Zoey after working her at the UC Davis Equestrian Center in Davis, Calif., on Monday, June 9, 2014. The university announced Friday, April 14, 2018, that it is adding equestrian and beach volleyball women's teams for the 2018-19 academic year. The additions will ensure UCD continues to meet Title IX requirements.
Alanna Mitchell, a student at UC Davis, cools down 9-year-old mare Zoey after working her at the UC Davis Equestrian Center in Davis, Calif., on Monday, June 9, 2014. The university announced Friday, April 14, 2018, that it is adding equestrian and beach volleyball women's teams for the 2018-19 academic year. The additions will ensure UCD continues to meet Title IX requirements. Sacramento Bee File

The decision has been made, and UC Davis is set to add two women's varsity sports in 2018-19: beach volleyball and equestrian.

Those sports were chosen over a handful of other options considered during a selection process that dates to November. UCD announced the new teams Friday.

The additions were necessary to meet Title IX requirements, as the campus has a high ratio of women to men among its undergrad student body (About 59 percent female and 41 percent male).

The university requested community input near the end of 2017 and received feedback that helped its athletics department make the decision.

Equestrian and beach volleyball beat out a handful of other finalists named in a Feb. 16 news release by the university. A report by UCD noted that equestrian aligns well with the school's "academic strengths," and beach volleyball is an NCAA sport sponsored by the Big West Conference, in which a majority of Aggies teams play.

Dan Connors will serve as director of volleyball for both indoor and beach volleyball while the athletics department searches for a beach volleyball coach, according to the Davis Enterprise. The department will also search nationally for an equestrian coach.

Other sports that missed the final cut: rowing, fencing and rugby.

What do the new teams mean as far as matchups with UCD's cross-causeway rival, Sacramento State? Sac State has no equestrian team, but does feature beach volleyball. The Hornets play in the Big West, so while no schedule has been released for 2018-19, matches against the Aggies are imminent.

The new teams are soliciting gifts from donors to help attain financial stability, according to the Davis Enterprise.

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