Different game, same results

Former Concordia University women's volleyball standout Traci Weamer is finding success in beach volleyball.

June 25, 2011|By Joe Haakenson, Special to the Pilot
  • Traci Weamer, No. 15, was a three-time NAIA All-American while at Concordia University.
Traci Weamer, No. 15, was a three-time NAIA All-American…

Traci Weamer doesn't even own a TV, but she'll be on it Sunday.

Airing all day Sunday on the CBS Sports Network will be The Alt Games: College Action Sports Championships, and Weamer — a 2009 graduate of Concordia University in Irvine — will be among those featured for winning the beach volleyball competition with partner Jane Chafeh.

The Alt Games include competition in sports such as skateboarding, wakeboarding, flowboarding, beach volleyball and surfing. More than 1,300 competitors from more than 100 colleges across the nation competed in recent months in different locations leading up to this weekend's broadcast on CBS Sports. The beach volleyball action will be featured from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday.

For Weamer, winning the beach volleyball competition, which took place last month in San Diego, was more than just another tournament. Weamer found herself at a crossroads in her volleyball career, having finished her collegiate playing career at Concordia in 2008, where she was a three-time NAIA All-American, and serving as an undergraduate assistant at the school in 2009.


The fact that she, coming from an NAIA school, and Chafeh, from NCAA Division II Cal State San Bernardino, could win when faced against players coming from highly touted Division I schools sent a message to others … and herself.

"When you come from an NAIA school or Division II school and you're going up against the Pac-10 or other dominant volleyball schools, it's harder to be recognized," Weamer said. "I appreciated the opportunity to compete against those girls."

Weamer not only competed, she won. Playing against Jessica Gysin (USC) and Caitlyn Racich (Pepperdine) in the finals, Weamer and Chafeh won, 15-10, 16-14.

"To compete against my peers, girls from schools with the same experience level, was good for me," Weamer said, reflecting on her experience playing in the now-defunct AVP. "In an AVP qualifying tournament I played against two women who were 35 and had 10 years of experience (on the beach) and we got crushed by them. So this gave me a glimmer of hope. Keep working and I'll get there, but it'll take some time."

Weamer had considered playing indoor volleyball in Europe, but her victory in The Alt Games gave her a clear direction.

"This is what I want to do in the next five, 10 years," Weamer said of playing on the beach.

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