COLUMBIA — The University of South Carolina will add sand volleyball as its 21st intercollegiate sport for the 2013-14 academic year, Director of Athletics Ray Tanner announced Thursday.

With the addition of sand volleyball, the South Carolina Board of Trustees approved the construction of a playing facility that would be located in the Athletic Village near the new Carolina Tennis Facility, Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field and the soccer practice fields. The facility would be completed by the start of competition in spring 2014.

Sand volleyball is the 12th female sport to be added by South Carolina to go with nine men’s teams sponsored by the school. The Gamecocks are the first Southeastern Conference school to add the sport and the 31st nationally. The College of Charleston added sand volleyball last year.