NORCROSS, Ga., Aug. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Mizuno USA, the industry leader of volleyball apparel and footwear, introduced the first Mizuno Beach Volleyball apparel line today with the official signing of USA Beach Volleyball player and 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist, April Ross, FIVB ranked USA Men's Volleyball pro teammates, Casey Patterson and Jake Gibb, to the Mizuno family. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130822/LA68568-a) (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130822/LA68568-b) "With the excitement around beach volleyball following the Summer Games in London and the second year of collegiate sand volleyball competition, we want to be a leading force in the game's evolution in the U.S. like we have been for indoor the past 20 years," said Steve Mikolajczak, Team Sports Division Brand Marketing Manager, Mizuno USA. "By entering the category with such high-profile players like Ross, and teammates Gibb and Patterson, volleyball fans and players can see our commitment to the sport and its growth, and can be assured that the new beach volleyball apparel will meet the needs of the beach player." According to the 2013 Sports and Fitness Association (SFIA) 2013 Participation Report, there has been a steady increase in beach volleyball participation since 2007. The attention to the sport has seen top volleyball clubs adding beach to their roster and the need for appropriate beach volleyball team uniform options. "Although the basic premise of beach and indoor volleyball is the same, there are some major differences in the demands of the uniform," said Emily Knight, Business Unit Manager, Volleyball Apparel and Accessories. "It was critical for us to create the right 'fit,' from the cut of the suit to the fabric and technology; through our R&D process we were able to create an apparel line that meets the needs of the beach volleyball player." Since late 2012, wear-testing has been conducted on all beach apparel items by multiple USA Volleyball players, including Ross, Gibb and Patterson, in order to develop and refine the optimal fit. The new beach line features an athletic cut that allows full-range of motion for every moment of play, Mizuno's moisture-wicking technology, DryLite ™, and has been light-tested to ensure color resiliency against hours of harsh sunlight. The first Women's Beach Apparel line includes six essential items that can also be paired with apparel items from the popular indoor volleyball line. The new beach apparel line will be available for club orders only through local team dealers starting Sept. 1 and for individual purchase online at www.mizunovolleyball.com on Oct. 1.