COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Volleyball will host its annual Beach Collegiate Challenge, slated for April 9-10 at the Hermosa Beach Pier.

Seven schools will compete in this year’s tournament, including: Concordia, Long Beach State, Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, San Francisco, UCLA and USC. The event is free and open to the public.

Play begins on Saturday with schools playing in two head-to-head duals, followed by the beginning of the pair’s tournament in the afternoon. Sunday’s competition will wrap the pair’s tournament, the bracket still TBD.

In the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Coaches poll, as of March 21, Pepperdine is seeded No. 1, USC third, UCLA fourth, LBSU sixth. The field of competition features all three previous AVCA Sand Championship team title winners, including last year’s champion USC. Pepperdine previously won the national title in 2014 and 2012, Long Beach State took the honor in 2013.

Collegiate beach volleyball is in its first season as an NCAA Championship sport. As in past years when the AVCA< sponsored the Championship, the 2016 and '17 Championships will be held in Gulf Shores, Ala.