Three players and two coaches in the USA Beach Volleyball system have ties to LMU.
Emily Day and Betsi Flint will play in Long Beach Presidents Cup, while John Mayer and Heather Hughes are reserves.
Head coach John Mayer announced the signing of four standout players for next year.
LMU beach volleyball head coach John Mayer won the AVP New Orleans men's title.
LMU will play three matches in Arizona over the course of Friday and Saturday.
2016 Beach Volleyball Season Preview
Mayer is the volunteer assistant for the LMU sand volleyball team when he is not competing to become an Olympian.
LMU interviews volleyball star and volunteer assistant John Mayer
John Mayer begins his third year as the head coach of LMU's beach volleyball program in 2017-18.
On June 7, 2015, the West Coast Conference added women's beach volleyball as a WCC-sponsored sport. As the sport continues to quickly gain status within the NCAA and the WCC, LMU Athletics Director Dr. William Husak announced on August 5, 2015, the hiring of Mayer as the LMU beach volleyball head coach.
At the time of the hire, Husak said, "the sport of beach volleyball has quickly grown at all levels, especially within the NCAA. We added the sport in 2012 and since have seen the positive and important impact on our department. As the sport grows, we wanted to continue to establish it here at LMU. We are very excited to have John take over the program on a full-time basis. He has had success at all levels of volleyball and we are fortunate he will be the program's first official head coach."
Mayer's 2016 squad finished the year at 6-17, but reached the semifinals of the inaugural WCC Championships. Rachelle Suaava and Avery Bush were named All-WCC, while Kekai Whitford and Sascha Dominique took home All-Freshman selections. The Lions finished the year ranked in the Top-20 of the DiG Magazine poll.
The 2017 season saw LMU post a 15-14 overall record, but the Lions, playing as the #3 seed at the WCC Championship Tournament, reached the final match before falling to Pepperdine. LMU's top pair of Savannah Slattery and Sarah Sponcil went 20-9 at the top of the order in 2017, as the duo reached the quarterfinal round at the USA Volleyball Collegiate Championships in the postseason. Sponcil was ultimately named WCC Player of the Year, while Slattery took home WCC Freshman of the Year, and both were named first team All-WCC. Sara Kovac and Jessie Prichard also garnered All-WCC recognition, earning honorable mention picks. Finally, Prichard and Slattery were named to the WCC All-Freshman team.
Prior to being named head coach, Mayer spent the previous four seasons as a volunteer assistant coach working with the LMU sand volleyball program. He had also served as the head coach of the men's volleyball program at Santa Monica College since 2008. As head coach at Santa Monica College, Mayer was named 2015 Coach of the Year after guiding his squad to a State Championship.
"We are one of the few schools in the country that will actually be practicing at the beach, which is a huge advantage for training and developing our athletes," said Mayer. "The sport of beach volleyball has taken off at the collegiate level with schools all over the country adding teams. Having the WCC now involved with a postseason championship shows how big the sport has become in a few short years. I imagine beach volleyball will soon be one of the premier sports for female athletes at the college level."
A 2005 graduate of Pepperdine University, Mayer helped guide Pepperdine to a National Championship in his senior year. Before transferring to Pepperdine, Mayer won a pair of State Championships playing at Pierce College.
Mayer made his AVP debut in 2003 at Hermosa Beach. In 2009, Mayer with partner Jeff Nygaard won the AVP Open at San Diego and was also named the Most Improved Player. In 2013, Mayer finished top-10 in all six events he entered into. Teamed with Ryan Doherty as the fourth-seed in the tournament, Mayer won the 2015 AVP Kingston Seattle Open men's title en route to being named 2015 AVP Men's MVP and Best Defender. In addition to his title, Mayer made four finals appearances and six semifinal runs in 2015. Again teamed with Doherty in 2016, Mayer won the AVP New Orleans title.
John Mayer was born June 11, 1982 in Thousand Oaks, CA. Mayer currently lives in Mar Vista, Calif. with his wife, dermatologist Dr. Paola Rodriguez, and daughter.
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