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Girls Beach Volleyball Team Puts in Work with Younger Players

Pavle Ristic, Staff Writer

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The Girls Beach Volleyball Team is working hard in a rebuilding season to compete amongst high-level opponents.

   This year is going to be especially challenging because of the lack of seniority and the strength of the teams that UC High will face. Twelve out of the fourteen girls belong to the Freshman Class, while only two upperclassmen compete on the team. The team will face a great deal of competition, playing against schools like Torrey Pines High, Cathedral Catholic High, and Santa Fe Christian High (maxpreps.com).

  Despite these circumstances, Head Coach Amanda Wiggins is pleased with her squad, explaining, “The team has done a great job of adapting to adversity and really pushing themselves. We just play every match the best we can and give it our all. The girls have done a great job of that so far.” Junior Co-Captain Mina Orlic added, “This season is all about trying your best no matter who you’re up against, and even if you’re not able to perform, it’s a learning experience for everyone.”

   Junior Co-Captain Monique Gonzalez sees opportunity in this season stating, “With there being so many freshmen this year there is a unique chance to teach them about volleyball and what it means to be a part of a team. We [Gonzalez and Orlic] can lay the foundation for years of UC volleyball to come.”

   Not only is Gonzalez eager to teach, but many of the younger players share the same enthusiasm to learn. Freshman Stella Van De Moere said, “Playing Beach Volleyball this year is so much fun,. It’s nice having upperclassmen like Monique and Mina who help our team improve every day.”

   Coach Wiggins referred to the differences between indoor and beach volleyball and how the girls can push themselves to get better and better. She said, “Just learning the beach game as a whole, most of the girls have never played beach before. It is a very different game from indoor, so really getting the girls to push their boundaries and get out of their comfort zones is something which we are working on.” Any activity where people can learn new things and improve upon themselves is very beneficial, and that is what the Girls Beach Volleyball Team is attempting to do during this season.

   The younger team also provides an opportunity for athletes of different classes to form bonds through the sport. Freshman Bella Chiaramonte said, “The upperclassmen  have been so nice and encouraging.  They’ve made it easy to talk to them. I would never usually talk to them but volleyball is a really good space to socialize.” Wiggins elaborated, stating that the program’s laid-back environment makes it easy for athletes to feel less pressured and enjoy their experience more.

  Although the team is very inexperienced, the change of speed from indoor to outdoor volleyball is a welcome change. As Freshman Erika Johnson said, “Beach season is really fun and chill. I love playing with all of my teammates.” Playing beach volleyball also gives the girls a chance to improve on their skills. Johnson continued, “I hope to gain different skills and techniques…. Beach season helps me with indoor, because it’s a lot tougher moving around in the sand; so when I do indoor it is easier for me to get from one place to another.”

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Girls Beach Volleyball Team Puts in Work with Younger Players