New beach volleyball group welcomes all

Beach volleyball may seem like something you’d only find in places like California, but a student organization at UT is proving that the sport can catch on just about anywhere.

One of the newest groups on campus, Texas Beach Volleyball Club, which launched in January, provides a laid back, carefree atmosphere for students to get together and enjoy a game of volleyball.

“TBVC is a great organization because it offers opportunities to play volleyball, meet new people and give back to the community,” said co-founder and undeclared freshman Kimberly Spencer.

Danijel Leiner, the group’s founder and president, started playing beach volleyball two years ago at The University of Texas at Tyler and decided to create the organization at UT Austin.

“The games are very relaxed events where we invite anyone that wants to play and just enjoy each other’s company,” Leiner said, who is an international relations and global studies sophomore.

The organization stemmed from Leiner’s love for the volleyball’s momentum and style.

“My favorite part of beach volleyball is the fluidity of the game once you have a team that plays well together,” he said. “I have played games where I didn’t utter a single word to my teammates and we were all where we needed to be and were supporting each other the whole time.”

Similarly, Spencer sees the game as a fun pastime with friends.

“I’m fairly new to volleyball,” she said. “I like the idea of beach volleyball because it appears to be a very social and laid back sport.”

The group hosts weekly games at Pease Park off MLK and Lamar boulevards. Texas Beach Volleyball Club is not yet a competitive team but plans to host tournaments in the future.

“By next semester we hope to recruit more so that we can host a large volleyball tournament for other UT organizations to attend,” Leiner said.

Leiner said it is important for him and the group to be accessible to everyone, as Texas Beach Volleyball Club was built with inclusiveness as a primary aspect.

“My goal is to create an organization where people don’t need to conform to the organization, but the organization conforms to them and their needs,” he said.

Newcomers and volleyball veterans are welcome to join and can contact Leiner at for more information.

“People should definitely consider being a part of the club,” Spencer said. “It’s undoubtedly unique and new to campus. And it always feels good to be a part of something new.”