FMU’s women’s beach volleyball team makes strides for HBCUs in the sport

MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - History has been made at Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens.

After winning an indoor beach volleyball conference title, the Lady Lions are destined to spike some more history.

Being the only Historically Black College and University with a beach volleyball team, FMU is in a class by itself.

“Most of us, since we’re Hispanic, we actually have Black roots,” said Azmabeth Infante, from the Dominican Republic.

“I know a lot of people know this about it, most of us are Hispanic, and there’s just one white girl, but it actually means a lot because it shows the mix of cultures,” said Sammyra Albarran, from Puerto Rico. “It’s not a division of white people or Black people or [a] white school or Black school.”

Soaring to new heights while serving as pillars in their community, ironically, none of the 12 players who make up the two-time conference champion FMU beach volleyball team fit the norm at the predominantly Black university.

“Women equality, we’re all for that,” said Olivia Dodd, from the United States. “Black lives matter. We just want to make a difference in the community. We want to stand out.”

Converting their game from the hardcourt to the sand was one thing, but capturing the first-ever Sun Conference Beach Volleyball Championship title, for an HBCU, the Lady Lions permanently engraved the program in the college record books.

“What’s remarkable about my team is they’re all indoor players, and they had one semester to learn an entirely different sport,” said FMU women’s volleyball coach Marrita Crockett-Moulton. “They changed the game forever because now everyone is looking at us as the pioneers of the sport.”

No matter their race, what these ladies have accomplished in such a short time is incredible.

“They represent this university, they represent all of us,” said Crockett-Moulton. “I told them going into this year, they represent everyone that looks like us, completely. On top of that, they represent the student-athlete.”

The Lady Lions played for the national title this past weekend and finished in ninth place.

In an effort to spread awareness in diversity for the sport among Black and brown people around SoFLo, next month the HBCU Invitational will be held on May 15 and 16.

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