SoCal Challenge Launches NCAA Women’s Beach Volleyball Event

29 October 2021

SoCal Challenge announced today that it will hold its inaugural beach volleyball event featuring six of the top ten ranking NCAA teams at the sport’s most celebrated stretch of sand, the Manhattan Beach Pier. Games will be held on November 13th and 14th and are free for spectators. Sign up for updates at at

The event features the most exciting teams in beach volleyball including the two Los Angeles-area teams who faced each other at the NCAA national championships earlier in 2021, USC and UCLA. Also competing are Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, University of Hawaii, Cal State Long Beach, University of Arizona, CalPoly SLO, and Grand Canyon University.

Joining Mark Paaluhi and Butch Hendrick (owners of Sand Court Experts) in the creation of this women’s beach volleyball tournament are SoCal Challenge Executive Directors Joe Lewis and Steve Barnes. Paaluhi, a veteran player, is one of the sport’s biggest voices. 

“Southern California is widely referred to as the birthplace of beach volleyball so it made sense to have this inaugural event on Manhattan Beach,” said Paaluhi. “I’ve said college is the future of this sport and we are excited to bring the SoCal Challenge to another incredibly beautiful part of California." 

The location is the site of the longest-running and most prestigious beach volleyball tournament in the U.S., the Manhattan Beach Open, and the site of many games played by Tokyo Olympics gold medal winner Alix Klineman, a lifelong resident of the town.

“We’re committed to bringing the best of both men’s and women’s collegiate sports to Southern California, and the level of competition at the SoCal Challenge Beach Volleyball event is the best in the country,” said Joe Lewis, Co-Executive Director of the SoCal Challenge. “For the past 28 years, this sand has been my home and I still play on these courts when I can. So this one is truly from the heart, a gift for all the beach volleyball fanatics old and young.” 

The SoCal Challenge is also presenting its inaugural men’s basketball tournament during Thanksgiving week in San Juan Capistrano featuring NCAA Division I teams (including Pepperdine and Cal Poly SLO). Tickets are on sale now for the basketball tournament here, and primetime games will be broadcast nationally on CBS Sports Network.

The SoCal Challenge is a celebration of athleticism that will expand to other sports and events, it is the creation of veteran college basketball coach Steve Barnes and Joe Lewis, whose Joe Lewis Company produces live tv and events for the Oscars, MusiCares, the Grammys, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL and many more. 

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  • For media inquiries about the SoCal Challenge contact: Owen Phillips [email protected]

About SoCal Challenge 

The SoCal Challenge is the newest premier sporting experience featuring a range of events for sports enthusiasts to engage in, all hosted in sunny Southern California. Fans will soak up some sun, experience premier college sports, and enjoy all of what Southern California is known for. The challenge will be anchored by a Men's College Basketball Multi-Team Event featuring eight top programs squaring off at The Pavilion at JSerra in San Juan Capistrano, California. Primetime basketball games will be televised nationally, live on CBS Sports Network. The challenge will also feature a Women's College Beach Volleyball Event comprised of nine top teams taking place in picturesque Manhattan Beach, California. More information at